Friday, 23 August 2013

Finding the next Hero & Heroine - Part Four

Having decided upon Bill and Michael, the perfect Anglo-American partnership, the hunt was on for the next heroine and hero in my Atlantic Divide Series. Easy enough to find my hero …

Michael relaxed on the porch swing with a cup of coffee in his hand and a dog on each side of his legs. He watched with some amusement as Mac’s black Ferrari jolted along the rutted track into the yard, scraping the low-slung undercarriage.
He knew Mac liked him, but he also knew that the man considered him trouble for his little sister. So he guessed he’d turned up to make sure they weren’t left alone together. It had been a long few days of manipulation and maneuvering between Mac and his brothers to ensure they were kept apart, but it seemed, Michael thought with a grin, that he was starting to make it difficult for them. It was a bit like a game of chess. It amused him to watch their scheming. They had no idea what a master schemer he was himself.
It seemed their line of communication had let them down this time and Mac must have believed it was Bill’s day off too.
Mac unfolded his long legs and pushed his huge frame out of the Ferrari, almost getting his shoulders stuck in the doorway. Michael laughed.
“You know you’re too big for that don’t you?”
“Sure.” Mac pushed his long, black hair back from his face and flicked his plait back over his shoulder. “But I look fantastic in it.”
“No, you look too big for it.”
Michael could see how Mac had become a legendary movie star; his ego was enormous, but he was still intelligent enough to be self-deprecating. He laughed as he sat on the swing making it creak and groan.
“It’s only rented. It goes back at the end of the week. I think my hair is starting to thin where it keeps rubbing against the roof.” They sat in silence for a moment.
“Where’s Bill?”
“I’m surprised you don’t know. You had a wasted journey. Bill’s out with Jack picking up some guy who shot up a store yesterday.”
Mac leaned forward. The seat grumbled loudly. He stood, gave it a disgusted look, and moved toward the house.
“More coffee?”
“That’d be good.”
They sat in Bill’s kitchen, drank her coffee, and Mac explained why he needed to bulk up for his next acting job on location in England. Michael wasn’t surprised to hear that female eyes would be firmly fixed on Mac’s broad, waxed, oil-slicked chest. Sounded like being a good-guy action hero sucked.
“I knew a girl in England not far from where I’ll be on location. She was the love of my life when I was twenty-one.” Mac stared into the distance, regret in his eyes. “She had the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen.” His mouth quirked slightly. It seemed to Michael that Mac had gone into the right industry. His penchant for drama was effective.
“What happened?” Michael’s attention started to wane while he watched with rising curiosity as Jack’s Land Cruiser flew down the road toward the house, kicking up dust in its wake. Both men stood to peer out the window.
“Broke my heart and left me.” Mac shrugged, and he squinted. “Wanted to be a vet. Wonder if she ever made it.”
His voice tailed off as his little sister slammed out of one side of the Land Cruiser while Jack slammed out of the other, their voices raised and their long strides quickly covering the distance to the house.
“Uh-oh,” Mac murmured as he stepped toward the door.

… and so Atlantic Divide Book 3 was created. Mac comes to Shropshire, England – larger than life, but is he any match for Zoe, the local country vet?

Due for release in September, Finding Zoe.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Finding The Next Hero - Part Three

I had the heroine for Book Two of my Atlantic Divide Series, a hard talking, gun-slinging deputy sheriff with a man’s name and a serious attitude. Who in the world would be able to handle her? Once again I referred to my unpublished fore-runner. Have a read, see where he came in :

He was starting to feel stupid now. The bouquet of red roses sat next to him on the step seemed a little obvious and over the top. Three dozen red roses. Brash and so very American. Yet that’s how he’d felt when he set off yesterday. He’d felt brash, confident, sure of himself that Kate would fall over herself once she saw him. But all that bravado was diminishing by the minute.
He stood, picking up the roses as he went. Perhaps he would go and find a hotel. Ring her from there. Tell her he was just visiting and thought he would call on her. Yeah, that’s what he would do. He started to walk along the hedgerow towards the little garden gateway when he heard a car pull up on the other side. He froze.
It had to be Kate. He looked around and there was no place he could unobtrusively move to, so he stood with the bouquet of red roses in his hand, feeling like a fool.
He watched her walk through the gateway with another man’s arm around her shoulders. She was laughing up into his face and the adoration they felt for each other was evident. But the real gut wrencher came when the handsome young man spoke.
“Kate, you shouldn’t be carrying so much in your condition, let me have these.” He took the carrier bags out of her hands and swung through the gateway, coming to a dead stop in front of Jack.  She giggled from behind him.
“Hey, what did you do that for?” and she stepped round in front of him, her beautiful eyes widening with surprise.
Jack looked from one to the other. The shock and guilt on Kate’s ashen face was blatant. The curiosity on the man’s was evident.
“Well now,” Jack drawled “it sure as hell didn’t take you long to get over me, sugar. I thought I was special, but looks like you managed not only to move on with your life, but to get yourself a new man real quick. Looks like you even managed to get yourself knocked up too.”
Kate’s hand met with Jack’s cheek before any of them could anticipate what was going to happen. The horror on Kate’s face matched the shock that raged through Jack’s system. She turned on her heel and stalked around the side of the house, into the back garden.
There was a long uncomfortable moment of silence as Jack stared at the ground in front of him, shaking his head like he couldn’t believe his luck and flexing his jaw, then he started to move towards the gate, his visit was over.
The blonde man moved into his path and smiled, a cold heartless smile.
“I think you’d better move out of my way, son” Jack drawled dangerously slow, in no mood to be waylaid by anyone.
“Well now  … see, here’s the thing.” 
Crossing his arms over his chest, the younger man didn’t seem to be intimidated by Jack one iota. 
“Looks like you’ve just upset Kate. I don’t like Kate being upset and I think perhaps you might want to apologise to her.”
Jack tried to side-step him making his way toward the gate, but the guy just got in his way again, this time up close and in his face.
“One thing you might want to know, I’m Kate’s brother, Michael … ”

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Previous Book:                                 Loving Lydia - Atlantic Divide Book 1
Future Books due this Year:        Finding Zoe - Atlantic Divide Book 3

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Finding the Next Heroine - Part Two

An extract from Loving Lydia showing the moment I knew who my next heroine was going to be.

It wasn’t until breakfast the next morning when Jack’s partner and deputy sheriff, Bill, had called to pick him up for duty that Lydia’s quieter child decided to open his mouth and reveal to the world several matters Lydia would have preferred remain private.
Just as Sam poured himself another cup of coffee, Aaron’s quiet, gentle voice interrupted the adults.
“Do you need Mummy to give you another kiss to keep you from falling off the horse today, Sam?”
He didn’t quite bobble his coffee so much as spill a little of the hot liquid over the side, scalding his hand as he turned to face the youngster. Lydia was engrossed in ripping up a slice of toast on her plate. Kate stared at her younger sister, one cool eyebrow raised in case she caught her eye. Bill snorted loudly.
“Hell, I haven’t heard that one since I was ten or so. My grandpa used to say it to all the little girls, and then burn ’em with his whiskers.” Sam calmly slid a look across the room at Lydia, well aware of Bill’s sudden interest. As he did, Lydia glanced up at that precise moment and smiled bright and saccharine sweet around the room.
“I think Sam has enough good luck to last him several months, Aaron, so I’m sure he doesn’t need me to kiss him ever again.”
Bill snorted a little louder and muttered under her breath, “Boy’s a goner if you ask me.”
No one needed to ask Bill, although how she knew anything about love was a mystery. With a man’s name and a teenage boy’s attitude, closely protected by her all-male cousins, Bill seemed to lead a solitary life, and as far as anyone knew, she had never so much as dated.
Sam had to admire Lydia’s quick recovery and listened with amusement as his brother tried to distract the room at large away from the subject of kissing habits.
Jack launched into the problems their cousin was having with their fourteen-year-old daughter, who was desperate to have a tattoo emblazoned on her butt.
“So, Shelly says to her, ‘When you’re old enough to know what it is you want, where you want it, and why you want it there, then we will have this discussion again. In the meantime, you don’t go near a tattooist, or I will ground you until you are old and gray.’” Jack chuckled as he glanced around the room, but Sam noticed Kate was silent, rubbing her stomach as she studied her glass of milk. Lydia tore up another piece of toast.
“Mummy has a tattoo.” Aaron’s sweet little voice piped up again in the quiet of the room. His mother heaved a sigh, and his twin sister pulled herself up straight to attention.
“It’s a pretty picture,” Rosie said, smiling proudly, looking at her mummy from under her eyelashes.
Sam cocked his head to one side and contemplated Lydia from across the room.
Bill hooted with derision.
“What you got there, honey? You got yourself a little tattoo?”
Lydia glanced up at her, and then shook her head and gave a shy smile as Rosie bounced with excitement on her chair. Curious, Sam stared at Lydia, who looked as though she’d just resigned herself to a fate worse than death. He thought it might be fun to give the child a little push in the right direction.
“I reckon a cute little butterfly, right on your shoulder,” he guessed.
“I think a little fairy just at the top of your a…”
“Bill!” Jack warned.
“No, my mummy has a big picture.” No longer able to contain her excitement, Rosie leaped up from the table with enthusiasm, arms spread wide to grab everyone’s attention.
Lydia glanced at Kate, shook her head, and slowly closed her eyes as though she waited for the axe to fall.
“It’s really big,” Rosie declared in a deep, serious voice, much to Sam’s amusement. Running her left hand from under her left armpit, she smoothed all the way down her body, over her skinny little hips and the top of her thigh, across the left side of her bottom, and back around to the center of her belly as she wriggled like a little snake while her hand wound its way down her body.
“It’s really pretty too, isn’t it, Mummy?”
Staring in disbelief, Sam’s entire body stilled. Believing Lydia would brush the subject off like she had earlier, he waited. He heard her heartfelt sigh as she stared at her plate, licked her lips, and opened her mouth.
“You gotta be shitting me!” Bill declared in amazement.
“Not in front of the children!”
“I gotta see this…” Sam murmured, not taking his eyes off Lydia. He stepped toward her, his hands reaching out with every intention of lifting her T-shirt up to take a peek. Lydia jumped up, swiftly stepped back from the table, and almost overturned her chair. The panic in her eyes stopped him dead.
“Don’t you dare come near me, Sam. I mean it. You’re never going to see this.”
He had other thoughts about that, but in the face of her fear, he considered here and now may not be right. There was always another day. He twitched his eyebrows at her, unable to stop the grin from spreading wide across his face. Who would have thought Little Miss Prim and Proper had a big ass tattoo?
Looking around the kitchen, Sam realized the children had already occupied themselves with pens and paper. Jack was frantically preoccupied with fixing himself another coffee, his back to the room and his shoulders shaking, while Bill stood with hands on hips and scrutinized Lydia with narrowed eyes as though she could see straight through Lydia’s T-shirt to that tattoo.
“Well,” Lydia tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, smiling desperately at Rosie and Aaron, “should we go and play in the yard?”
“I got to go.” He stepped back, gave a lazy grin, and sauntered out of the kitchen

Finding The Next Heroine Part One

From the first book I wrote, which is unpublished, emerged two strong secondary characters, Kate and Jack who featured in Loving Lydia. Kate is Lydia’s sister and was the first to venture to America. Here’s an unedited piece which introduced the idea of Lydia’s story into my imagination.

She shuddered with the memory of her little sister standing in her living room looking forlorn and bedraggled, having been beaten almost to death.
“She was pregnant at the time, so Susan’s case isn’t a million miles from what happened to my own sister.
“What did your sister do?”
“She left him. She has three year old twins now.”
“Was he imprisoned?”

“No. She dealt with him herself.” She gave him a wintry smile. “He didn’t bother her again.”

Saturday, 17 August 2013


I've been Partying over at TRS this week at their End of Summer Party, talking about. Hero's Heroines, where I get them from. Exclusive excerpts and cover reveals.  Why not click on the link and visit me there.

Livia Ellis: Welcome Diane Saxon - Author of Loving Lydia

Livia Ellis: Welcome Diane Saxon - Author of Loving Lydia: This week I turn the blog over to my sister Liquid Silver author Diane Saxon.  Do you have only one WIP, or do you bounce around betw...

A Roller Coaster

August 4, 2013

It's been quite a roller coaster ride the last few weeks. My family and I went on holiday to Mexico for two weeks, (very lovely, very hot) truly believing that our house sale and purchase had fallen through. Near the end of our holiday an email managed to stagger it's way through the painfully slow ether informing us that our move date was a mere five days from our return date.

Never mind the jet-lag after a nine hour flight, we didn't have time for that! Full speed ahead and in the strangely (for England) blistering heat, we moved, taking our Dalmatian, our ginger cat and our one-eyed kitten with us - oh and being gifted four chickens and a hen-house along the way (thank you Penny).

Arriving in the new house, we discovered that the internet connection had been lost and it took the providers ten days (ten really painful days) to re-connect, during which time my new book, Bad Girl Bill, Atlantic Divide Series #2 was released, and I had virtually no ability to communicate with the outside world, except by driving to my sister Margaret's house and using her computer once a day.

If you know me, or you read my books, you will know I am a great romantic at heart and truly believe in happy ever after. So despite still sorting through boxes of stuff we probably should never have brought with us, and trying to keep two disgruntled kitties happy and entertained indoors for two weeks in still raging heat, I love my new home. My forever home. With miles and miles of wheat fields and beautiful views I can only look forward to the inspiration it will bring me.

Now I am on catch-up. With hundreds of emails to check, most of which are spam. I have Book #3, Finding Zoe to edit, I am working on some changes on my Christmas Romcom, I am part-way through writing Book #4, and I have this Challenge with Eva Lefoy and Allyson Lindt to do which has to be complete by the end of September - 15,000 words and I haven't written one - yet. Allyson is romping ahead with over 4,000 words down on paper - but I have a story in my head.

Who said moving to the country would be peaceful?