Editor\'s notes on Daffodils

My editor (picture below) has seen Daffodils now.  He\’s very meticulous and astringent.  He thinks the story \’very strong\’ and \’likely to be really successful\’.  BUT he\’s also given me a mountain of revision to do on the story.  Hence the delay.  I\’m off up the plotting shed today to work through his comments.  Daffodils is going to be even richer, more emotionally satisfying and even better researched than it was already. 
I\’m polishing so much both my arm and my duster are worn out!  but it will be worth it in the end. 
Daffodils really is nearly ready!



It\’s done!
I really think I\’ve finished the manuscript. 
One beta reader to go, my editor.  Then it\’ll be out there, ready to find its fate.
Thanks to everyone who\’s been watching this space and for all the wonderful \’likes\’ ticked in the Facebook box and all the tweets across the world.
Keep \’em coming when the book\’s out!

The Front Cover for Daffodils

Here is the front cover for Daffodils, thanks to the expertise and patience of Jane Dixon Smith.

Findng a picture without copyright issues was quite a task. 
This wasn\’t my first choice but now I feel it\’s just right for the story.  This is a true photograph of some WAAC girls on the beach in France in 1918 and fits the story like a glove. 
The field of daffodils represents the lines of the war dead from the First World War but also renewal and hope, which are important themes in the book.  They also signal change and the energy of  new beginnings and that also chimes with the story.
The young women playing in the sea symbolise the emancipation of women during this era.  Note how they support each other.

I\’m planning to launch the book on Amazon very soon – to coincide with the beginning of Spring – because that\’s when daffodils will be in bloom.
See you soon!

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Blurb for Daffodils

Katy dreams of a better life than being a servant at Cheadle Manor but her attempt to escape its confines is thwarted.  The ensuing scandal draws her back under the authority of the local parish, before personal tragedy catapults her into the wider conflict of World War One.  While daffodils spring into life, bringing renewal and hope, equal numbers of young men are cut down and Katy longs to play her part in the struggle.
Should Katy leave behind the stifling hierarchy of Edwardian society by going to the battlefields of France, or succumb to a different, more tempting offer?
While seeking the answer, Katy makes true friends, and learns new and surprising skills, but the brutality of global war brings home the price she has paid for her search.

Glass of red anyone?

5.0 out of 5 stars the twisted vine 5 Feb 2013

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

I hope someone makes a film about this wonderful book, The Twisted Vine.

By the end, of it you will feel as if you have been picking grapes yourself
and enduring all the madness of the adventure.

This book is all about love, death and intrigue in the South of France.
Two well told stories run side by side, until they collide in a shocking
turn of events, which bring all the characters of the book together.

The pace of the book is exciting but quite exhausting. It will make you
want to drink a lot of red wine! And take off your clothes.

Roxanne, the central character, is young, brave and resilent.
Peter her gay, public school friend keeps her sane as they
pick grapes together. The hours are long and the work is hard.
It is also very, very hot.

Roxanne and Henry fall in love. But Yvanne challenges Roxanne for
Henry\’s affections. And then against the pop and fizz of young
love something a lot more sinister emerges.

Roxanne is on the run from a \”wretched creep\” and would be rapist,
Armand le Clair. And the novel gathers momentum, their paths cross again.

Armand kills an innocent man and it is Roxanne who is responsible for
seeing justice is done.

Louis, the vineyard owner is then left by his wife and mistress in
an extraordinary but convincing twist of the plot.

This is simply, the most exciting book, I have read for a long time.
And it is also very emotional. It is the little details that make
it special. Alex Martin is a very gifted writer.

Please can someone make a film about it soon?

Beta Reader No 3\'s verdict on Daffodils

\”I’ve got to the end of Daffodils and a very satisfying ending it is too. I can quite see why this has taken you a long time to finish. The research must have been phenomenal.

The ending had me in tears. It really did. You’ve done a wonderful job of the emotional ups and downs as well as giving insight into a terrible war. I had no idea that the British were so cruel and unfeeling towards their own. I only knew they were harsh on deserters even those, who these days would be found mentally unfit to be held responsible for their actions. It’s unbelievable what they all went through and you make clear the point – for what? Germany is now an ally and is doing better than we are or France for that matter and has more power. It is a powerful and beautiful story and in quite a different, and necessarily different, style from TV. I hope this will become the winner it deserves to be, Alex.

Thanks for a really amazing read. I had no idea it would have such a strong tale to tell.

Well done! \”