A Red Rose (part 1)

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place. Sequel to A White Rose.

A dark shadow bent over the sleeping form of a young girl in bed, stroking away an errant lock of hair from her delicate brow. The girl was beautiful, looking restful in her sleep, unaware of the visitor in her simple room. Her skin was fair, with only a slight hint of a tan, a mass of tangled walnut brown hair spread out around her head on the bed. High cheekbones, a small, straight nose and arched eyebrows gave her an almost divine look, all perfect in its innocence. Slightly slanted eyes and pointed ears bore sign of her elfin heritage. A soft smile curled her lips as she dreamed of something undoubtedly pleasant.

The dark shadow carefully pulled the blanket down, revealing a pair of slender shoulders, and then put a hand inside its large cloak. The girl in the bed sighed in her sleep, causing the dark shadow to still for a moment, waiting to see if she would wake, but the girl remained asleep. Slowly the shadow withdrew a thin dagger from its robe and moved it toward the girl’s slender throat. The tip of the dagger came to rest against her neck, moving along her throat, almost caressing, without piercing the delicate skin.

Dark eyelashes fluttered over the girl’s cheek, and slowly she started to wake. Light green eyes, so pale they seemed yellow, widened as she spotted the intruder. Her mouth opened to scream, but was cut short as the lethal tip of the dagger struck down to draw blood.

With a start Ereptus jerked awake. The small room he’d taken at a local inn seemed to close in on him for a moment, until he was entirely awake. Shaking, he sat up and looked around. The room looked just as it had when he had gone to sleep; simple with a sturdy bed and a little cupboard with a washbowl on top. It was only a dream, yet it had seemed so real.

He ran a hand through his dark hair, vaguely registering that he’d been sweating, and stood to pace the small space of the room. There wasn’t an ounce of magic in his entire being. He was a simple soul living a rogue’s life. Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that he had just had a premonition. He had been away too long. It was time for him to go back and face his inner demons. If for no other reason than to see her and make sure that she was still alive and well.

Although the sun had not yet shown its golden face Ereptus got dressed, packed his few belongings and left the inn. He stole a horse on a small farm outside the city and started his journey towards the city of Messina where he had once left the girl. He could only hope that she was still there. After all, it had been three years since he had last seen her.

***** Continue reading

Monthly Update

A day late since I usually post these on the last day of the month, but yesterday I didn’t spend any time at all behind the PC due to not feeling well, so today is the day!

Writing

I decided about halfway through July to give myself the summer off. Between work, family visits and my CFS/fibro acting up – I’m just not getting anywhere. And the more I push myself the worse I feel about failing. So I’m having July and August off, with my sights set on a fresh start in September.

#WIPjoy

I participated in the #WIPjoy hashtag on Twitter, my first ever Twitter event like that – and it was a lot of fun. It allowed me to find a lot of new people to follow and blogs to read. Always a good thing! If you want to see my answers, I posted them here on the blog as well.

Family Visit #2

Last month my sister and her family visited, in July it was my dad with his wife and my littlest brother. We had bad luck with the weather (again! It seems to be a trend with family visits this year), but still had a good time. We took a trip to Swanage, went shopping, and went out to dinner at a very tasty restaurant. I also took my dad’s wife to the cinema, and we saw the new Planet of the Apes movie.

#WIPjoy

During July I participated in the #WIPjoy game on Twitter, where each day you answer a question regarding your current work in progress. It was all hosted by the lovely Bethany A. Jennings (@simmeringmind) I chose the novel I’m currently revising, and used the hero, Nathaniel as the main character for those prompts. Below are all my answers for the tag.

1.Describe yourself and your WIP!

I’m Emily, I recently moved to England, and I write various genres of romance. WIP is a regency romance, first of four.

2.Your MC’s aesthetic in 7 phrases.

Nathaniel – dark eyed, rake, honorable, loving brother, responsible, dark suits, sandalwood soap

3.Your first inspiration for this WIP.

Lots of regency romances and an old idea.

4.Three books that go nicely with yours.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Anything by Julia Quinn, so let’s pick two at random; Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and Splendid

5.A line in which your world comes alive.

6.Would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your own life for a day?

I’d enter my story for a week – it’d be like a holiday to Regency England. But one week is enough, I do enjoy indoor plumbing!

7. A line where the plot thickens.

8.What would your MC be like as the antagonist?

As an antagonist Nathaniel would ruin others plotting and scheming because he doesn’t agree with what they’re doing.

9.What would the antagonist be like as the MC?

Christian Grey. Controlling and bordering on abusive.

10.Dish about a favorite side character!

Jacob, Lord Wortham, is one of the hero’s best friends, and is a rake with daddy issues. Sarcastic and enjoys annoying others.

11.What parts of this WIP are drawn from personal experience?

Probably some of the heroine’s shyness/struggle with crowds. The love and annoyance you feel for your siblings.

12.A line you nailed perfectly.

I found this incredibly difficult, so I just went with the first line of the novel.

13.Would you rather: never publish this WIP, or watch it be adapted into a horrible movie.

Bad movie adaption over never publishing any day. I still enjoy books even if they have bad movie adaptions!

14.Describe your MC’s personality with a GIF.

15.A line involving a decision.

“You could marry me.”

16.Choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book.

Under a blanket on the couch a rainy day, with chocolate and a cup of tea, the rain smattering against the window.

17.What’s something you’re still figuring out about this WIP?

I’m still trying to figure out/decide a title. And the surname of the main family. Because I don’t like the original one.

18.Share a thought that keeps you going as a writer.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, and I just don’t like who I am when I don’t. If I’m not a writer, then what am I?

19.A line that was hard to write.

I honestly don’t remember, it was a long time ago that I wrote it, and in revisions they ALL seem difficult!

20.Would you rather: have tea with your antagonist, or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?

I’d normally not want to spend time with antagonist, but I can’t deal with elevators. Will have to ignore him and drink my tea.

21.Why do you yearn to share this story with the world?

I guess I hope that someone else will love these characters as much as I do.

 

 

Book Titles

This week’s struggle is regarding book titles. I’m terrible at choosing book titles or story titles, I truly am.

The Regency Romance series I’m currently writing will be sub-titled by the surname of the main family, once I choose their surname, but obviously each book needs its own title. Which would be the most important part, really.

Because the siblings all have names from Shakespeare’s works, I wanted the titles to play on that as well.

The original titles I came up with were:

  1. As He Likes It
  2. Taming of the Rake
  3. Winter’s Kiss
  4. ???

The fourth one I’m not sure about. I’ve been thinking maybe A Midsummer Night’s Proposal or something similar.

As time has gone on though, I’ve come to realise that the first title might sound a lot more racy than the book truly is. It kind of sounds like an erotica title. Doesn’t it? So I think that I should probably change it. But I’m struggling to come up with more titles that sound well from Shakespeare.

One idea was to have every title reference kiss.

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Kiss
  2. The Kissing of the Rake or Kissing the Rake
  3. Winter’s Kiss
  4. Twelfth Kiss

But then I’m not sure if that’s just too much kiss, you know?

I’m at a loss. I don’t really know what to do at this point. Other than pulling my hair in frustration.

Silence

An old poem, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place.

 

The silence greets my words,
I wait, but there is no sound but your breathing.

Tears are trickling down my cheek,
I turn around to hide them from your sight.

The silence is tearing at me,
crushing my heart beneath its weight.

Why aren’t you speaking to me?
What did I do wrong?

All I did was say ‘I love you’…

Monday Movie – How Animals Eat Their Food

Another Monday, another YouTube clip. This is an oldie, but still so much fun.

To Name or Not to Name

My latest struggle is regarding the surname of the main family of my Regency Romance. The idea is that there will be four books, one for each of the siblings.

Originally, their surname was Howerty, but I’m not sure how I feel about that name now. I don’t think it has a nice ring to it.

For a moment, I thought I had the perfect surname; Hathaway! It was ideal, because the siblings all have names from Shakespeare’s works (due to their mother being a big fan), and the plan is that each book title with be a play on his works as well.

So, Hathaway seemed like the name to go for.

Except, I had completely forgotten about Lisa Kleypas’ series, “The Hathaways“. I even read the books, and yet I had completely forgotten the name!

Which means that I’m back to square one. I can either stick with Howerty, but I’m just not loving the name. It was a name I came up with as a teenager when I penned the first version of what will be the second book in one of my old writing pads. Or I need to think of a new name. It needs to be a name that I 1) like and 2) works well as a series title. The Hathaways, being a really good one. The Howertys? I don’t know.

Do you ever struggle with names?

WIP Wednesday

Once a month, I will share a piece of my current Work in Progress, and I arbitrarily decided that it will be the third Wednesday of every month. Because logic is over rated.

This is a scene from the Regency Romance I’m currently revising, tentatively titled As He Likes It. The scene takes place at a ball where our heroine, Angelique (Angel) have just met the two youngest sisters of our hero (Nathaniel, the Marquess of Pensington), and is now meeting the older sister.

It’s unedited as I’m in the middle of revisions.

“Lady Jessica Howerty,” Mrs. Grey introduced the newcomer. “Miss Angelique Grafton.”

They both curtsied, and Lady Jessica looked nearly as uncomfortable as Angel felt. Fortunately, there were two impertinent young girls present to break the ice.

“You can call her Jessica since you’re calling us Miranda and Nick,” Nick offered helpfully.

“On such friendly footing, already?” Jessica asked her sister with an amused smile.

“Yes, of course. After all, she’s going to be my sister in law.”

Jessica’s head turned quickly towards Angel. “You’re marrying my brother? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Angel could feel her cheeks flush for the second time that evening. The image of the Marquess as he’d been lying in her bed the previous day flashed through her mind, causing her blush to deepen.

“I am not marrying your brother,” she said quickly, maybe a little bit too quickly. “I only met him yesterday.”

“Oh. I beg your pardon,” Jessica looked slightly confused. “But then why…?”

“I’m marrying James!” Nick offered, and then added glumly. “I can’t believe you forgot already.”

Jessica started laughing, it was a compelling laugh, full throated and without false affection, and it made the corners of Angel’s mouth start to twitch as well. Soon they were all laughing, causing several of the other people in the room to give them odd glances.

“I’m very glad to meet you, Miss Grafton,” Jessica said as they stopped laughing. “We’ve always been very curious about James’s sister.”

“Oh, please call me Angel.”

“I’m Jessica.”

They smiled at each other and Angel felt that she might have found a kindred spirit. Perhaps even a friend.

Taking the Summer Off

Lately I’m so incredibly tired that I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I’m barely functioning. I don’t know whether it’s the heat, the lack of sleep/weird routines that come from working night shifts, or my CFS acting up – all I know is that I’m dead tired.

Combine that with my fibro getting worse again the last month or so, after having been fairly manageable for a while. It’s still not as bad as it could be, for which I’m grateful, but it’s making some things harder than they need to be.

All of these things affect my mood as well. Which is not unsurprising. When you don’t have the energy to do any of the things you want to do, or set out to do – you feel like a waste of space.

And so, in an effort to let myself off the hook and to give myself some space to recuperate and hopefully get some energy back, I’m taking the summer off from writing. I don’t want to set myself up to fail, because it’s soul-crushing to do so. I’ve done it before, and it was a hard thing to come back from.

I will still be around, blogging when I have something to blog about, and probably writing down ideas and things for whatever I’m writing on. And sure, if I suddenly have a burst of energy, I’ll do some writing/revising. But I won’t set any goals for July and August, because I know I would fail them.

Some people say that you have to write every single day, and as much as I’d like to do that – at the moment it’s just not possible. Sometimes you have to realize what’s going on with your body and your mind, and take care of yourself. So that’s what I’ll be doing.

Monday Movie – Kevin Spacey does impressions

Not only is he a brilliant actor, Kevin Spacey can do amazing impressions of other actors. If you’re not watching, you can seriously imagine it being the actual person talking and not Kevin Spacey.

If that wasn’t enough, and you want to see some more, here he is during an Actors Studio session.