Posts Tagged ‘snippet’

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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Humpday Hook

Happy Wednesday and welcome to another session of Humpday Hooks!

Humpday Hook is a weekly blog hop where authors get together to post excerpts of their work. Just click on the picture to be taken to the Master List! You should find something there to enjoy.

Alternatively stay here for a bit and read my excerpt first.

It’s another bit of my untitled unfinished heterosexual Regency romance [though all bets are off if I ever resume it.] Aubrey has written to Sir Patrick, or maybe it should be Lord Patrick, I don’t believe I ever consulted Debretts for the correct form of address, at Cicely’s dictation and the letter has arrived.


Is this your manip? If so you’re brill and I’d love to credit you

Aubrey’s letter was placed in Pat’s hands that evening as he sat in the lonely magnificence of his dining room. He pushed aside the scant remains of an excellent beef and oyster pie and read the single, uncrossed sheet with a wry smile, then glanced up as the door opened and Yacoub Khan entered.
“Congratulations are in order, Yacoub,” he said. “It appears that I am to take a wife.”
“Indeed, sahib, you deserve congratulations if all I have heard is the truth,” Yacoub agreed, his respectful tone at odds with his derisive smile. “I am sure that that is why your cousin Gerald is here. I have put him in the library.”
Pat eyed his henchman apprehensively. “What the devil does he want? He is alone isn’t he?”
Yacoub inclined his immaculately turbaned head gracefully in assent.
“That’s a relief. He’s not worth running down the back stairs for but Euphemia, now … Thank you, Yacoub.”


Cousin Gerald and someone called Euphemia. Cast of thousands!

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Hump Day Hook

 I lost the plot a bit last week and it was Wednesday morning before I remembered that I should have done HDH. Silly me. This week I’ve done it in plenty of time and plan to be a bit more efficient about getting round to register my presence. I read all the entries last week – lots of cool stuff – but was too dopey to comment.

Anyhow! This week I’m using the usual ancient bit of fiction, for which I don’t have a proper title, but if I did it would probably have been something like “The Rake and the Bluestocking” just so people knew what they were getting. Blame Mills and Boon. I read a couple and thought “Pffft, I could do that” so I tried  – and failed because I was far more interested in breeches than bodices. And THIS week that’s what you’re getting – the hero.

We left Aubrey and Cicely hatching plot to make Mad Pat uncomfortable. This is what Pat is doing:

Just as Aubrey was seating himself at Cicely’s desk, her betrothed was groaning his way to consciousness while his valet attempted to repair the wreck of his room.

“I can’t understand it myself,” the man was saying. “I just can’t see where the attraction lies in going out and getting puking drunk three nights out of four. Mark my words, lad, you’ll end up like your cousin Kevin – screaming your nights away in a madhouse. The first time you wake me up to tell me your feet have been eaten off by funny green things out of the wall, that’s it, I’m off home to Sligo.”

“Shut up, Phelim,” muttered a hummock amongst the tangled debris of a four-poster bed. “Faith, I need a drink.”

“No you don’t,” Phelim snapped. “You need to get up and clean and dressed. A pint of coffee, a cut of beef and a canter in the Park’s what you need.”

“If you don’t shut up you’ll be needing a doctor.”

“And another thing! How can you expect any decent woman to live in this Bedlam? Half your servants speak Gaelic, the other half speak Pushtu and the cook’s Chinese. Honest to God, it’s like the Tower of Babel in the servant’s hall.”

The hummock erupted with a roar. “Phelim, do you want my boots down your throat? My God, I’ve still got them on! Couldn’t you at least have undressed me, you lazy bastard?”

“Undressed you? The state you were in nobody wanted to touch you. We paid the crossing sweeper who brought you home to carry you up the stairs – well, more drag really, he was only a little feller.”

Ah full of sweetness and light. Tune in next week to learn more about our gracious hero.

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Humpday Hook

Archives are wonderful things.

Something very wrong with me in that my first thought on seeing this was “Where’s her other leg?” Fiddle with human anatomy at your peril

Back in March I was humping and hooking with an ancient piece of work that I wrote back in the 80s. It never had a title but if it did it would be called something like “The Rake and the Bluestocking” and there would be a dangerous looking man on a black stallion rearing over a shrinking blonde in white muslin on the cover. Get the picture? I couldn’t so have posted the one to the left, which I actually find deeply unsexy, which is probably why I write for the other team.

To recap: Sir Anthony Stanton-Rivers, 21 and v. v. pretty, has a grand night out with his friends. Next day his sister has a scrap with her maid over being such a bear [by which I mean she’s growly not butch and hairy, we are in M/F territory for a change] because her previous suitor, one Captain Rory MacLeod, turned out to be a fortune hunter. The last bit was here, I’ve skipped a bit that I thought was infodumpy – hey this is Regency romance, you could probably write this better yourself – now read on:


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Hump Day Hook #4

I have just realised that it’s Wednesday! And that means only one thing – Hump Day Hook!

By clicking on that link to read all the other snippets you will be excited, enthralled, entertained and maybe even a teensy bit aroused. Or you can stay here and read mine XD

My snippets come from a parody Regency Romance that I wrote when I ran out of Georgette Heyers and couldn’t find anything else approaching her good-humoured daffyness. So how far have we got? Aubrey has given Cholmondely [pronounced Chumley] his IOU and they have separated.


Aubrey made his way a trifle unsteadily to the supper room where he sat, wolfing ham and mustard and eyeing the Olympian gods and goddesses who could still be discerned on the smoke-stained ceiling.
“I say, Charles,” he called as he spotted a friend making his way towards him, “that Venus is a bit of an armful.”
Charles glanced upwards, grimaced, and jerked a thumb towards the main salon.
“Freddy sent me,” he grunted. “Best come, Chum’s in a pickle.” Then he set off again towards the ham.
Aubrey stretched and sighed. It was wonderful to be young and rich and have a good head for claret. He would extricate Chum from his ‘pickle’, he promised himself, and then – well, the night was young, anything might happen.


Regency meals were very meat heavy. No wonder they got gout. Have you ever had gout? Believe me, you don’t want it.

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So here we go. New Sunday and a new Six Sunday substitute with a banner that’s just right up my alley. click on it for th link to the list of other participants:

Mmm, just gorgeous. I’ll be posting twice weekly from now on – 8 sentences on Sundays for WWW and a paragraph or so on Wednesdays for the Hump Day Hook event. I figure 2 little ones a week will be more fun and less guilt inducing than trying, and failing, to get round 200 writers on a Sunday.

To kick off with I’ll be posting excerpts from my novel On A Lee Shore, which is set in the early 18th century and is an affectionate tribute to all those 40s and 50s pirate films with people like Burt Lancaster or Errol Flynn swinging in the rigging with their shirts off. I can’t do too much of it because I’ve done sizeable excerpts before and am getting close to my limit for a published work.

Lt Christopher – Kit – Penrose, newest and most uncomfortable crew member on the pirate sloop Africa, is doing his best to cope and, up to now has manage, he thinks, rather well.


Soon it was the brief twilight, the sun setting in a blaze of gold and madder, stars pricking out overhead before the western horizon had cooled. Kit had the dogwatch, so he took himself off to his hammock, stripping to his breeches but still sweating in the sweltering fug of the fo’c’sle. He slept soundly that night and his dreams, if he had any, were no trial to him. But something roused him, and he lay dozing in that warm hinterland between sleep and waking where nothing much makes sense. Least of all the shift of air as his blanket slipped and the soft humming of “Lowlands, Low.” Then a hand touched his belly and moved down to grip hard. Kit swung a fist, felt it connect, and then tumbled off the other side of the hammock. He landed on his feet, fists clenched, panting with the pain of the tight squeeze.


There’s nothing as unsettling as being woken from sleep by a death grip on your nads. Or is there? What do you think?



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Six Sentence Sunday

SSS AFR It’s Sunday!!

Time for another bunch of sixes from authors near and far. Just go here and read your socks off. There are erotic romances, sweet romances, action adventure military gritty distopian futures, sweet YA comedies and some stuff that is, to my taste, compellingly wierd 🙂 just love it.

So – last week in my six we left Cynfal with a warm armful and his nose in Gwion’s ear. Gwion seemed to be getting a little tense. Again I’m going to put it under a cut just because I quite like doing that. It might make people think it’s naughtier than it is!



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