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Posts Tagged ‘close shave’

I don’t have a for certain cover or blurb yet but I’m delighted, and very anxious, to say that Midnight Flit, the sequel to Eleventh Hour, is due to be released on March 14th this year. This, of course, is assuming there are no meteorite strikes and that the editor doesn’t point out an enormous plot hole that demands a rewrite.

It is set in 1931, Miles and Briers have continued their relationship at long distance, which isn’t particularly satisfying for anyone, and their reunion is complicated by the presence of Miles’s mother and that she has come into possession of information that puts her life at risk. Full steam ahead to get back to London before the bad guys do her in! Millie is back too. I do enjoy writing Miles as Millie.

And while I wait to hear what needs to be done to Midnight Flit I am playing around with the 30k words I have so far of Close Shave, the sequel to The Bones of our Fathers.

This one is set a few months after the end of Bones and, while Mal and Rob are very much in it, follows the activities of a different character, Terry Skidmore the barber, his large and rather unruly family and the little gang of lads who meet on Fridays at the White Horse.

Writing Pemberland and its satellite villages is like going home. Relaxing and comfortable but oh so easy to be self indulgent!

But anyway, here’s a snippet from Close Shave, because I like sharing snippets:

Phil Rother’s plans to convert the gentle curtain twitching members of Pemberland’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme into a legally armed fighting force was the talk of the White Horse on Friday evening. Terry settled in his usual seat with a pint and joined in the bitch fest with delight.
“While one has to admire the fighting spirit that manned the decks at Trafalgar and stood firm in the lines at Balaclava to further our abhorrent colonial practices all over the globe, there’s a time and a place for everything.” Rodney Merrick, ex-Major, RE, raised his g&t and took a sip. “Fighting crime is a young man’s game. Or at least a trained man’s game. When you get to my age, you must be aware of your limitations. Keeping my eyes open and having a cell phone to hand is about the limit of my usefulness.”
They all made the appropriate rubbishing noises and Rodney smoothed his pale pink cashmere sweater over his belly and gave them an approving nod.
“Not sure I want to be in the same county as Phil Rother with a taser,” Dai Beynon said.
“Hear hear!” Harry Farriner’s well-bred yelp caused Dai to eye him with suspicion. “What? I can agree with you, can’t I?” Tonight Harry was wearing pink too, was sporting the world’s curliest man bun and had big silver hoops in both ears. Dai was leaning away from him in case some of the fabulous transferred.
Rob Escley waved his pint glass to draw attention to its emptiness. “Phil’s always wanted to be Action Man. He’s got about the same amount going on in his pants too.”
“Oh, that’s harsh. None of us can help how we’re made.” Mal Bright got up, reaching for his wallet. “My round. Terry, Rodney? Leo, can I put another slice of lemon in your tonic?”
“No, this is fine, thank you.” Once Mal was at the bar Leo picked up his almost full glass and nodded to Rob. “I hope the security at the museum is good.”
“It is but Mal said Brian told him that all the robberies have been after cash, jewellry, phones — stuff you can sell down the pub, or booze and fags. One place they took a pack of chocolate digestives.”
“Kids then?” Terry scowled. “So even if we caught ’em there’d be nothing much that would happen to them.”
“If they are kids, you’re probably right.” Leo frowned. “Someone must know who they are. They’ll be caught out eventually.”
“Better we did and gave the little buggers a hiding,” Rob said, “than they get caught by the police and get a record and decide it’s not worth trying to go straight any more.” That was pretty much what had happened to Kevin, and Terry suspected that Rob blamed himself. Terry blamed other people far more. When you came right down to it, it was usually the parents’ fault.
“Even so,” Leo spoke softly but with authority, “being tased by some wannabe vigilante isn’t going to get anyone back on the straight and narrow.”
“Hear hear,” Rodney said.
“Swipe me.” Harry made big eyes. “Leo said “wannabe”. The man can be taught.”
“Who can?” Mal put a tray on the table and began to distribute the drinks.
“Leo said ‘wannabe’. Right context and everything. I’m so proud.”
“Stop teasing Leo.” Mal sat down again. “Are we still destroying Phil Rother’s reputation?”
“Yes,” Harry said. “He was giving your apprentice a hard time yesterday, Terry.”
“Adrian? What the fuck?”
“I think Adrian must have bumped into him or something and he was shouting at him. I had Grandpa with me and we “accidentally” walked between them. Phil couldn’t do anything without looking bad and it gave Adrian a chance to make a break for it. Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And the things Phil was saying. Okay, Ade probably shouldn’t wear those skinny jeans with those legs. He looks like a croquet hoop. But all the same…”
“I saw that, but was on the other side of the street.” Mal scowled. “Rother is such a shit. Surely I heard Adrian’s got a girlfriend?”
“He has,” Terry said. “Nice little thing, lives over by the church. Name’s Sarah and she’s doing her A Levels. I’ll have a word with Ade and if necessary I’ll have a word with Phil. I kicked his arse when we were twenty and he knows I can still do it.”
“I’ll hold your coat,” Rob promised.
“And I’ll defend you in court,” Leo added, “when you’re arrested for assault.”

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Actually no. I’ve already got 3 on the go and need another like a hole in the head. So I’m revisiting books I put aside when I started the ‘getting Eleventh Hour ready to release into the wild’ process.

I’m poking Calon Lan – not much further to go with it which is always when I start second guessing myself and deciding that the end isn’t strong enough. But I’m also reading stuff I wrote last November and haven’t really looked at since. I’ve only tried a little bit of contemporary romance – and that was shifters – so this was new ground to me. But it was fun to write people who could be fairly confident and not have to hide. Also I’m being hugely self indulgent and writing about things that I really like.

Here Mal, museum curator, welcomes Rob, a JCB driver, who has come to the museum to drop off a bunch of flints he has found, though Mal knows, and Rob knows Mal knows, that’s just an excuse.

Mal reached a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last night, didn’t it? It was good fun.”
“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt – the bit Mal could see read “-oun-arm-lu” leaving him to imagine the rest – and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. There was a man, he thought, who knew exactly what he wanted and was fairly confident of getting it.
And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought. mal's mug
The kettle hissed, the water purred into the mugs soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.
“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.
“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”
Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.
“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”
Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Book one about Mal and Rob is called The Bones of our Fathers and is almost done, just needs anothr scene or two and a really severe edit. Book Two – Close Shave – is about 30% done. I should stop messing about with blogs and get on with it, shouldn’t I?

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