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Rescuing Cinderella

I’m thinking about Cinderella today, oh I know there’ve been lots of face-lifts to the story to make it more modern, andCinderella dorecind I know the original fairy tale had some seriously dark stuff in it. The old Russian version has the evil step sisters cutting off their toes to try and fit their enormous feet into the dainty glass slipper! And the evil toe-cutters are exactly my point.

I’m thinking about how often women are portrayed in pop-culture as either wanting to or NEEDING to be willing to cut off their toes to spite their feet in order to be worthy of a Prince Charming to come and rescue them. I’m also thinking about how often that perfect beauty of tiny feet, tiny waists, big tits and gorgeous face are the main characteristics of the damsel Prince Charming rescues. In fact, they’re quite often the ONLY characteristics of the damsel in need of a romantic rescue. Sadly, we’re encouraged not only to read about that vacuous blank canvas of a damsel, but we’re expected, likewise, to want to BE her. That dream of being rescued by the prince on the white horse will surely become our reality if we can only cut off out toes and be Cinderella!

Okay, if I’m honest, at every single one of the difficult points in my life I would have been more than willing to be rescued from the struggles, or even at times I would love to be rescued from my ordinary life and brought into something more exciting. (That’s always a very dangerous thing to wish for!) And who hasn’t spent serious time ‘looking for a hero,’ even if it’s just in a really juicy fantasy.

Most of the time, though, we don’t get rescued. We have to do that ourselves, and we’re all the better for it. In the best situations, and in the best stories I’ve read, the hero and the heroine rescue each other, and they’re both worthy of the rescue.

I suppose the need to be rescued is archetypal, just as is the need to go on a quest, which is often only an elaborate way of rescuing ourselves. But the makings of a fictional hero and a heroine these days seem to have more to do with fat bank accounts and chaining virgins to the bed in an expensive dungeon and less about the journey that risks everything.

Oh, did I mention the journey? Right! The rescue, the quest, they always go hand in hand with the journey. And this is why, for me, Cinderella is one of the weakest tales. The journey is the leaving of our comfort zone – quite often screaming and kicking every step of the way. In that respect, no doubt Cinderella was outside her comfort zone at the ball, but in most journeys, there’s no glass slipper, no prince charming, and no fairy godmother dashing to the rescue. There’s much fear and trembling and digging deep. THAT’S what makes a book nail-biting and un-put-downable (there! A new word) It’s when chaos springs from the mundanity of order that heroes are made. And the resulting Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020quest, the resulting journey is usually at least as painful as having toes severed to fit into glass slippers.

We rescue ourselves on a daily basis. We find within ourselves the makings of the hero, and we push forward. That little seed of the hero’s journey exists in all of us, and it’s never a matter of sitting in the ashes by the fireplace and waiting to be rescued. It’s a matter of getting muddy and mucky and taking risks and moving into the places inside us that terrify us, but that pull us like magnates, nonetheless. We are our own heroes, and our stories – those of us who write stories, come from the deeper places in our selves – or at least they should if they’re ever to matter much.

Am I being judgmental? Quite possibly. I never claimed not to be. But I know my own journey, and I know when I sit in front of the computer and break into a cold sweat because I fear the place I see myself heading, because I know I have no choice but to go there if this story is to be born, then I know that no one will rescue me but me, and I have to go deep into chaos to come out the other side as my own hero.

 

Out Now – The Alpha Match by Leigh Archer (Untamed Safari Book #1) (@leigharcherbook) #romance #contemporary

The_Alpha_Match_by_Leigh_Archer-500RED-HOT ROMANCE GOES ON SAFARI  

English conservationist, Caro Hannah, and South African, Ben Duval, must work together on a project to introduce endangered wild dogs to an African game reserve, four years after their love affair ended. The challenges of their profession pale into insignificance beside the personal obstacles they must overcome in order to either bring closure to the events of four years before, or reignite a passion hot enough to burn up the African bush.

The Alpha Match is the first in a series set in the African bush where luxury tented camps and romantic hideaways are havens for royals, celebrities and the adventurous at heart. The Untamed Safari Series places unforgettable men and women in this captivating setting and holds its breath as they play out their red-hot passions.

 

BUY LINKS:

Tirgearr Publishing: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Archer_Leigh/the-alpha-match.htm

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1QhNDIW

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1buj6b7

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/528008?ref=cw1985

 

 

EXCERPT

Caro was aware that her voice was rising, but she could do nothing to stop it. Now was as good a time as any to speak her mind. ‘As a matter of fact, if you could stop all the wars on this planet, solve world hunger and reverse the effects of global warming, I’d still feel nothing for you.’

It was the briefest look of pain flitting across his face that silenced her. Then his mouth hardened and his eyes blazed. ‘I’m your boss, Caro.’ He spoke very slowly, his voice vibrating deep in his throat. ‘All I’m asking from you is some respect. Your unwillingness to greet me at the meeting today; that wasn’t very mature, was it? How far do you think we’ll get on this project if that’s the way things are going to be between us?’

Caro was stung. ‘If you think I’m going to be anything other than professional, then you really don’t know me at all. I’ve worked for five years to save the African wild dog and I’d never do anything to jeopardise this project.’

‘Oh, I believe you,’ Ben said. ‘Nobody knows better than I do just how ambitious you really are. As a matter of fact, what was I thinking? Of course you’d never let anything get in your way, least of all other people’s feelings.’

Caro gaped.

He leaned towards her. ‘I’m right, aren’t I, Caro?’

Again he stared into her eyes, his own narrowed and filled with fire.

She could see the cords of muscle beneath the golden skin of his neck. Her breath came in small, silent gasps, and she pressed a hand to her chest.

Ben’s gaze travelled slowly from her face to the hand against her naked skin. He opened his mouth, closed it again. His body tilted towards her, his fingers heading for the bunch of towel between her breasts. Then he snatched his hand back, shook his head, turned and started for the door.

 

AUTHOR BIO – LEIGH ARCHER: 

Leigh writes romance novels set in her native South Africa. She has always had a love affair with Africa’s wild open spaces, the intensity of its people and sunsets. Her love of storytelling began as a child when she spent every spare moment playing barefoot in golden grass, watching meerkats, learning to track spoor and dreaming up heroes and heroines dynamic enough to stand out in all the beauty and drama of the African landscape.

Always in search of adventure, Leigh’s journey as a writer has taken her from journalist to communications specialist, and now novelist.

releaseblitzbutton_thealphamatchAUTHOR URLs:

http://leigharcher.yolasite.com/

https://twitter.com/LeighArcherBook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leigh-Archer/299910886869499

http://leigharcher.blog.com

http://amazon.com/author/leigharcher

 

Out Now – Native Tongue – M/M Erotic Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #erotica #romance #military #interracial

Native TongueBlurb:

They may be back on British soil, but the battle isn’t over.

When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he always knew things would never be easy. After months of complete secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to the sneaking around and the insane risks. But it seems there are many obstacles for them to overcome before they can truly be happy together. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many for their fledgling relationship?

Author’s note: Although this story does work as a standalone tale, it’s recommended that you read the first instalment of the characters’ journey first—Desert Heat, which is available from all good retailers.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/native-tongue/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25462496-native-tongue

**For those of you that haven’t yet read Desert Heat either, there’s a great value double pack containing both books available exclusively on Amazon (from 14th May), which is available for lending, and for Kindle Unlimited members: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/desert-heat-native-tongue/ **

*****

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Excerpt:

Captain Hugh Wilkes drummed enthusiastically on the steering wheel of his car as he drove it up the M3 towards London. He sung loudly and tunelessly along to the song on the radio, too, but it didn’t matter. No one could hear him.

He’d surprised himself by being so chilled out about the volume of Friday evening traffic. He wasn’t the most patient of people, so the slow progress should probably have been increasing his blood pressure, if not leading to full on road rage. But, although he’d have loved to be actually achieving the speed limit, not bumbling along at a mere fifty miles per hour, Wilkes was just glad the traffic was moving at all. Britain’s roads, the motorways in particular, soon came to a standstill if there was so much as a tiny bump between two vehicles. So any progress was better than none.

Besides, what could he do about it? His only other options to get to London from his base in Wiltshire were a train, or stealing a plane, helicopter or tank. The latter might just cause a little bit of bother, and mean the end of his army career, not to mention criminal charges. The former meant cramming in amongst sweaty, disgruntled commuters. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’d be charged an extortionate amount to do so, probably wouldn’t even get a seat, and would likely be subjected to delays.

At least driving took him from door to door, with plenty of personal space. And if there were delays, well, he could sit them out from the comfort of his own vehicle, with the climate control set to the perfect temperature, and the radio blasting some of his favourite tunes.

The next song was even better, and Wilkes’ tuneless wailing became more enthusiastic, as did the drumming on the steering wheel. He was in one hell of a good mood, and if he was truthful with himself, he knew it wasn’t just the fact the M3 was moving at a nice pace. It wasn’t the Friday feeling, either. Sure, both of those things were contributing to his happiness, but the main reason he was grinning like a buffoon was the thought of what awaited him in the capital. Or rather, who.

Rustam Balkhi. His gorgeous Afghan boyfriend, whom he’d met out in Afghanistan while they were working together for the British Army. Now, with their tour of duty over and the forces’ presence pulled out of the country, the two men had returned to England. Wilkes had gone back to his regular army life in Bulford Camp, near Salisbury. Balkhi was in London, where he’d recommenced the medical training he’d postponed to become an interpreter for the Brits.

The past few weeks had been somewhat of a whirlwind. Wilkes’ return to the UK had been straightforward, but Balkhi had had to jump through some hoops in order to get back onto his medical course. He’d been willing to start from scratch, but it’d seemed like an awful waste of time, so Wilkes had spoken to his superiors, who’d explained to the university what important work Balkhi had been doing. Fortunately, they’d been persuaded of Balkhi’s commitment and character, and allowed him to pick up where he’d left off. That settled, Balkhi had to pack up, travel back to the UK, find somewhere to live, move in… and all before the start of the next academic term.

Wilkes had felt terrible. His return had taken place a few weeks before Balkhi’s, so although he’d been granted some leave for R&R, he hadn’t been able to either spend it with Balkhi, or to use it help him with his relocation. By the time Balkhi had set foot on British soil, Wilkes was back to work. And, given nobody knew about the two of them, or even that Wilkes was gay, he couldn’t exactly ask for more leave in order to help his boyfriend move into his new flat.

Life had conspired against them ever since, so this was the first opportunity they’d had to see each other since saying goodbye in Afghanistan all those weeks ago. They’d communicated via email, text message and phone calls, but it just wasn’t the same. Especially since they’d gone from seeing each other every single day for the best part of six months to not setting eyes on each other for weeks on end.

Wilkes had struggled terribly in the interim. Life had been tough enough while they were still out in the desert. After weeks and weeks of trying desperately to ignore their growing attraction, they’d finally given in to it. It had been stupid and risky, but, having quickly realised there was more to their attraction than the physical, they’d decided to carry on their relationship in secret while they were in Afghanistan, see how it went, and figure things out once Wilkes’ tour of duty was over. Balkhi had always intended to return to the UK for his studies, so they would, at least, be living in the same country.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

 

Showing vs Telling by Kemberlee Shortland (@kemberlee) #erotica #romance #giveaway

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I’m sure I’m not the only one whose editor has said, “This is telling. SHOW your reader . . . “. Have you ever wondered exactly what this means?

Here’s an example —

Telling: Mary showered before dressing.

Showing: Mary stepped from the steaming shower and wrapped herself in a thick white terrycloth towel. Her hair was bound to keep it dry, but now she let it down. She watched the coppery curls fall about her bare shoulders in the foggy mirror, her reflection an apparition in the haze.

In the showing example, the reader is in the bathroom with Mary. While her actual features are blurred in the foggy mirror, we know she has coppery hair and it’s long enough that if falls about her shoulders.

Here’s another one —

Telling: John played the guitar.

Showing: The sound was as gentle as a pleasured woman’s moan yet seemed almost too big for the tiny room. John closed his eyes, enjoying the erotic sensation of the hum of the cords reverberating through his belly. He let his fingers slide over the strings and listened to the slow gut-twisting refrain.

This example shows us John is an experienced guitarist. We see him playing the instrument in a small room, possibly a recording studio. The piece he’s playing awakens particular emotions in him, which the reader also gets a sense of.

How do we know any of this? Because we’ve been shown through the narrative.

We can also be shown a story through dialog. Look at these examples —

Telling: Mary paled, as if she’d seen a ghost.

Showing: “Mary, you’re white as a sheet. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Telling: John loved dogs, but not jumping all over him.

Showing: “Mary, you know I love Spike, but would you mind controlling him?”

In the business of writing fiction, writers must tell a story in such a way that readers can see, and feel, what’s happening in the story. But does this make us storytellers or story showers?

Traditional storytelling goes back well before the written word — to a time of oral storytelling. This is the most intimate form of storytelling, as both the storyteller and the audience gather in a close environment to hear the tale. I won’t go into a history of oral storytelling here, but give you some examples of how this art is used.

Imagine you’re a medieval trader of exotic spices or fabrics, and you’re visiting a town to sell your wares. The local lord invites you into his home where he trades a hot meal and a bed for the night in exchange for you telling him tales of your travels. What tales would you tell? One of a dangerous ocean voyage? Perhaps, exotic people from other countries? Maybe you’ll relate some of the ancient stories you were told while in that foreign country.

What if you were a time traveler who’s gone back in time and you must explain about where you came from and how you found yourself in the past? How do you explain cars, planes and walking on the moon to someone who wants to know what the future is like?

As writers, we take these stories and write them in such a way that readers are pulled in, much the same as listening to traditional oral storytellers, and become part of the story. The biggest difference is that oral storytelling relies heavily on watching the storyteller, as he/she may become animated or perhaps sing to embellish the story. With fiction, the reader only has the page filled with words and their imagination. Their imagination is fueled by the words we put on those pages. And while a simple story, such as Cinderella, might be enough to entertain young children, an adult wants a story with a lot more meat in it. We want to tell a story to keep our readers up all night turning pages, not tell a bedtime story that puts them to sleep.

4One of my favorite stories is an ancient Danish ballad called Hellelil and Hildrebrand. It was translated into English in 1891. The ballad, or a story written as poetry, tells the story of forbidden love. Kind of the Romeo and Juliet of Denmark, if you will. In my next example, I’ve pulled a scene from the ballad in which Hellelil explains how her father, the king, has twelve knights watching over her safety, and how she’s fallen in love with one of them. Hildebrand happens to be the son of the King of England. Son of royalty or not, he’s still just a knight and she’s a princess. Read this scene from the original ballad and see what you get from it —

My father was good king and lord,

Knights fifteen served before his board.

 

He taught me sewing royally,

Twelve knights had watch and ward of me.

 

Well served eleven day by day,

To folly the twelfth did me bewray.

 

And this same was hight Hildebrand,

The King’s son of the English Land.

 

But in bower were we no sooner laid

Than the truth thereof to my father was said.

 

Then loud he cried o’er garth and hall:

‘Stand up, my men, and arm ye all!

 

‘Yea draw on mail and dally not,

Hard neck lord Hildebrand hath got!’

While this excerpt is telling an interesting story, it’s not what today’s mass market readers want. They want authors to show them the story through the protagonist’s eyes. Read my excerpt, showing what you’ve just read above —

“You must go.” She pushed her lover’s shoulders, yet he would not release her.

“I’ll not leave you, Hellelil. I love you. No one will keep us apart.”

Her heart pounded in her breast, but she couldn’t tell if it was from the danger they were both in or the thought of never seeing Hildebrand again. Most likely it was both. He was her one true love, but she knew if her father found them together like this, his anger would know no end.

“Please, Hildebrand. If my father catches you here, he’ll show no mercy. You know I’m promised to another.”

“I’m a Prince of England, and I will have you.”

He embraced her within the safety of his powerful arms. The scent of their recent lovemaking clung to his skin. One more kiss, one more embrace, certainly laying with him one more night would do no harm. She knew they were both already meant for Purgatory. He’d taken the virginity she so gladly gave him, for she loved him too, and would rather him have the gift of her innocence than a man she didn’t love.

Yes, one more night . . .

Just then, there was no mistaking the sound of her father’s voice bellowing below stairs.

“Hildebrand has gone too far. I will see his head on a pike at my gates before the day is out.”

The sound of clanging metal grew louder as her father’s knights ascended the narrow stairs.

Hellelil’s tear-filled gaze flashed across Hildebrand’s face. She sought to memorize everything about him. The color of his eyes, the wave in his hair . . . his kiss-swollen lips.

She stroked her fingers across those lips, remembering the feel of them on hers not moments before. Her chamber door was locked, but it would not remain closed for long. One more kiss was all there was time for.

She pulled him down to her. “Kiss me, Hildebrand. For if I’m to die this day, I will take the sweet memory of your kiss with me.”

Hey, I write romance so you knew that would be schmaltzy! But, as you can see, the modern day version is the same scene, but it’s written in such a way as to flesh out the scene. It puts you in the room with Hellelil and Hildrebrand, and lets you into Hellelil’s head, and heart, by showing the story through her point of view. You feel her anxiety of being torn between her love for Hildebrand and the fear of their being caught together. Her heart pounds, she touches his lips with her fingertips, her love races through her in a desperate attempt at showing one last act of that love. We feel a great sense of urgency in this piece that we don’t feel in the original ballad.

The reader also knows Hildebrand’s feelings toward Hellelil by his words and the narrative action. Hildebrand holds Hellelil within the protection of his strong arms, his declaration of love, and his promise to have her as his own. We sense because he’s a prince of another realm that he holds some stature in the household where he is. He’s not just a simple knight who’s taken the virginity of the lord’s daughter in a heartless dalliance — he loves her. Hildebrand is a man of honor and breeding, and he knows his own heart and mind. So what if she’s promised to another.

Did you get any of that from the original ballad? Didn’t think so. Why? Because the first version tells the story. My version shows it to you.

One Night in Dublin by Kemberlee Shortland - sm banner

ONE NIGHT IN DUBLIN

Kemberlee Shortland

City Nights Series, #9

Tirgearr Publishing

ISBN: 9781311609366

ASIN: B00RY20282

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Shortland_Kemberlee/one-night-in-dublin.htm

 

One Night in Dublin by Kemberlee ShortlandBlurb:

At her mother’s prompting (nagging) about grandchildren, Sive wonders if it really is time to settle down. She’s just finishing college so she should be thinking about her future. But is she ready to settle down? Is she ready for kids? And more importantly, which of the three men she’s been seeing does she want to spend the rest of her life with?

Sive has a choice to make, and only 24 hours in which to make it.

 

Extract:

Choices.

We all make them. From the moment we wake up, it’s: “do I get out of bed now or hit the snooze button . . . again?” “shall I wear this outfit to work or that one?” “tea and toast or grab something on the way?”

It’s all mundane bullshit. They’re all choices we make on the fly without even realizing we’re making them.

Think about it. What choices do you make when you’re not thinking about them? Like going home from work. You get on the train, find a seat and wait for your stop. But when you get there, you wonder how the hell you got there because you don’t remember making the journey.

What I’m trying to say is that we often go on auto-pilot and just do what needs doing without any real thought, because there are usually more pressing things to think about—the important things.  Or seemingly so. Like, what movie to see, what restaurant to eat in, where to go on holidays . . . and for some girls, this pair of sensible shoes on sale or another pair not on sale but immensely sexier?

For me, today, my choices aren’t so mundane, and they’ll require a lot of conscious thought. I have an important decision to make. One that could change my life forever, pardon the cliché.

They—whoever ‘they’ are—say there is someone for everyone, that we all have a ‘type’ of person we’re attracted to. I’m still figuring it all out . . . exploring to see what is my type . . . that someone just for me. And it doesn’t help that my mum’s voice is in the back of my head, asking . . . i.e. nagging (yes, I just said i.e.) . . . when I’m going to settle down and give her grandkids.

First, let me say this: I’m not a slut. I’m not loose, I don’t carelessly sleep around, and I don’t do one-night stands. I just love men and all of their vast differences.

What can I say about my boys that every other woman out there doesn’t already know about men? Charmers, every one of them. But they all give me something I need.

Tonight I need to decide what, or who, I need the most—Fitzy, Moss, or Sully.

 

Kemberlee Shortland authorBio:

Kemberlee Shortland is a native Northern Californian who grew up in a community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. It’s no wonder she’s loved telling stories since she was very young. Kemberlee completed her first novel at 21 and hasn’t looked back. In 1997, she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was there she met the man she would marry, and permanently relocated to live in Ireland. While always writing, Kemberlee earned her keep as a travel consultant and writing travel articles about Ireland. In 2005, she saw her first romance sell, and to date, she has nine published romances. When not writing, Kemberlee enjoys spending time with her two Border Collies, who feature on the cover of A Piece of My Heart, and also knitting, gardening, photography, music, travel, and tacos!

Website – http://www.kemberlee.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKemberleeShortland
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/kemberlee
Hearticles – http://www.hearticles.blogspot.com
HeartShapedStones – http://www.heartshapedstones.blogspot.com

 

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/kemberlee-shortland-2/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Heroes Old and New: Looking For Charlotte by Jennifer Young (@jynovelist)

tourbutton_lookingforcharlotteLooking For Charlotte is, at heart, a romantic novel in that it’s a novel about love. But that comes with qualifications, because it isn’t just about romantic love, or about sexual love. It’s about all sorts of love — sex and romance come into it, but so does the love of a mother for her children, of one human being for another when they’re strangers to one another.

But although it may trip out of one genre and into another when the time is right, Looking For Charlotte has the things that all romantic novels have — a hero and a heroine. In fact, reader, aren’t you lucky, because you have not one but two of each, a lead and a support.

It’s the heroes I’m talking about today. Let me introduce our main man first up. He isn’t your typical hero. His name is Philip. He’s in his fifties, a solicitor with the driest sense of humour, handsome (in a mid-fifties kind of way). He loves our heroine, Flora — but there’s a problem and that’s his wife. And the problem is that although he loves Flora he loves his wife, too, and his wife has been dead for twenty years.

Enter our supporting hero, the appropriately-named Archie Fortune. Archie is also a solicitor, though a couple of decades younger than Philip and without the emotional baggage. He’s much more of a conventional hero but he has problems of his own, because he falls in love with our supporting heroine, Suzanne and she is the one with the baggage. More specifically, Suzanne’s recent past involves a dead husband and the daughter he murdered before his suicide — so how can she ever love again?

So there are two love stories going on here; Flora and Philip, Suzanne and Archie. There’s an old love story (if I may call it that) and a young love story. Because young people aren’t the only ones to fall in love and (as someone once said) not all heroes wear capes.

I wonder sometimes if there’s a risk involved in writing love stories that are a little out of the ordinary; but I don’t regret it in the least. Most of my romantic plots are about first love, or at least first real love; but in Looking For Charlotte all but one of the main protagonists have long and/or never-to-be-forgotten stories behind them.

Can Philip put his saintly, beloved, dead wife, Joanne, behind him or will she come between him and Flora, whose obsessive search for little lost Charlotte frustrates and unnerves him? And is Archie, unencumbered by the traumas of any serious relationship that’s failed, sufficiently sensitive to overcome Suzanne’s suspicions and teach her to trust again?

Two heroes, then, one traditional (“Well, there was no question that she’d picked the handsome one”), one less so (“He hadn’t always been old-fashioned. Time moved on and some people stayed behind. Sometimes it suited them”). They both face a challenge. Will they both succeed?

 

Excerpt

‘I was married in June.  It’s supposed to be lucky, June. We had the full works. Marquee, ceilidh band, the lot.’ Over the years she’d tried to forget about it, but suddenly it surged up in her mind — dappled sunshine, rose-petal confetti, flower girls, laughter. Lucky horseshoes.

‘Jo and I married in a church on Loch Lomondside. Reception in a local hotel. We even had the view down to the water, just like this. It had snowed the day before. And there was a moon. Gorgeous. ’

She could see that he was just as reluctant to recall the details. Their weddings had been a long time ago. ‘How we must both have changed.’

‘Change happens to everyone in the end. It’s just that it comes to some of us sooner than others.’

‘Yes. Think of poor Suzanne Beauchamp.’

The silence persisted. They moved along the terrace a little way, isolating themselves from the clustered smokers, breath and cigarette-smoke mingling to make a fog of the night air.

‘Actually,’ said Philip, after a moment, ‘I wanted to talk to you about that.’

‘About what?’

‘Suzanne Beauchamp. Though I know this isn’t the time or the place. But you mentioned it.’

‘Go on.’ Of course it was the right time, the right place. It was because of the drink and because of the memories and because it showed he cared.

‘You aren’t going to find that girl.’

‘I might. Charlotte.’ She has a name. She narrowed her lips, her eyes, not in a scowl but in determination.

‘Flora, she’s dead. She could be buried anywhere. You’re chasing some ridiculous shadow for reasons of your own. You’re letting it take over your life.’

‘I’m not.’

‘You are. I never see you. You’re always out. You’re always tired. It’s making you unhappy.’

‘It isn’t.’ No, it isnt that.

‘And at the end of the day you won’t find her.’

‘She has to be somewhere.’

‘She does, but you don’t know where. And you won’t find out. How can you? We don’t even know if the clues on his letter were right. He could just have dumped her in a loch somewhere and made up the rest.’

‘He might. Or he might not.’ Flora stared out at the nearest thing to stare at, a few straggly shrub branches, iced and still. If you want to see me you could come with me when I look. He would laugh if she said that, or worse, shrug his shoulders and look away.

‘I think you should drop it before you make a fool of yourself.’ Then, after the silence he said, ‘Sorry. Wrong time, wrong place.’

 

Looking For Charlotte by Jennifer YoungBlurb

Divorced and lonely, Flora Wilson is distraught when she hears news of the death of little Charlotte Anderson. Charlotte’s father killed her and then himself, and although he left a letter with clues to her grave, his two-year-old daughter still hasn’t been found. Convinced that she failed her own children, now grown up and seldom at home, Flora embarks on a quest to find Charlotte’s body to give the child’s mother closure, believing that by doing so she can somehow atone for her own failings.

As she hunts in winter through the remote moors of the Scottish Highlands, her obsession comes to challenge the very fabric of her life — her job, her friendship with her colleague Philip Metcalfe, and her relationships with her three children.

Tirgearr Publishing: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Young_Jennifer/looking-for-charlotte.htm

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1D7pNY6

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1JmAwBR

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/526032?ref=cw1985

 

Author bio

I live in Edinburgh and I write romance and contemporary women’s fiction. I’ve been writing all my life and my first book was published in February 2014, though I’ve had short stories published before then. The thing that runs through all my writing is an interest in the world around me. I love travel and geography and the locations of my stories is always important to me. And of course I love reading — anything and everything.

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferyoungauthor

Twitter: @JYnovelist

Website: http://www.jenniferyoungauthor.com/

 

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The Romance Reviews

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