It is very satisfying to see that my first book, #The Twisted Vine, is still in the top 100 bestsellers list for the France category on #www.amazon.co.uk a year into its launch in 2012.
From September this year I plan to change my diary so that mornings are devoted to writing and I tackle Life – work/chores/stuff – after lunch. That will give a rhythm to my writing time that I hope will bear fruit.
I\’ve been thinking about a sequel for #Daffodils and some ideas are bubbling away on the back burner. In the meantime I want to settle down to writing #The Rose Trail (the beginning of which remains in the Top Ten on #www.youwriteon.com) – a new story full of ghosts from the time of the English #Civil War. It is also a contemporary story about two women who meet by chance and form a deep and lasting friendship through facing their fears.
For now, I\’m off on a holiday to la belle France to rest, recuperate and research. I\’m hoping to sketch out The Rose Trail while I\’m away and don\’t have the normal distractions. We\’re staying at a very quiet campsite so I shall be hopefully sitting in a peaceful field, next to a river, letting the creative juices flow in an unrestricted stream of creativity. That\’s the plan ….anyway!
Delighted with this American reader\’s review of Daffodils on www.amazon.com
5.0 out of #5 stars
#Heart Wrenching Romance of WWI Era, July 19, 2013
This review is from: Daffodils (#Kindle Edition)
Daffodils is an exciting novel about headstrong Katherine Phipps, set in England during the days leading to WWI, and ending after the armistice. The story is deeply romantic and personal, leading Katherine from her home in Wiltshire to service the the WAAC along the coast of France. Katherine\’s character and that of her love Jem grow and become stronger as their lives both become entwined in the war. Meeting new steadfast friends, Ariadne and Cassandra, the young women experience the harshness of wartime, but come develop into even stronger women.
I highly #recommend Daffodils as a great read for those who love historical fiction.
Thought I’d let you know how much I admired Daffodils. The scope and breadth of your plot was so wide-ranging, geographically, socially and emotionally!
You must have researched the First World War thoroughly – the detail was so fine and made the war episodes and their aftermath so immediate.
The early scenes of village life, with all of the delightful characters reminded me of Hardy – is he a favourite of yours?
Very much enjoyed Katy’s journey from subservience ( lowly maid dusting the books in the great folks’ manor forced to submit to whatever treatment was meted out) to independent, self- reliant womanhood. An unexpected by-product of war and thank heavens for 2013!
Well done indeed.
Was browsing and timewasting when I should have been doing some proper (dayjob) work and casually dropped into the peer review website, www.youwriteon.com My gast was truly flabbered when I found my new work in progress (WIP), The Rose Trail, was up at number 6! My astonishment and wonder know no bounds.
I suppose this means I really must get on and write the rest of it!
THE TWISTED VINE – A REVIEW
I loved The Twisted Vine for its great opening and I was thrown into the setting straight away. I revelled in the scenes of beautiful, suave France, of her vineyards, little cafes, picturesque views and delicate French accents.
Twisted Vine is about Roxanne who goes to France to get away from her undesirable life in London, leaving a father whom she never really connected with, to be looked after in a home. But this story is not about the father, not really.
We learn of Roxanne’s life as she travels up and down the country in search of vineyards for work, and as she does, she meets some good friends: Peter, Harry and Yvanne and she also meets a man who tries to take advantage of her.
For those who don’t know about the work of grape picking, this is a great book that takes you right to the centre of it. Alex Martin gives us a close insight of the harrows and the complaints. Then she takes away all that pain and brings us to glorious food and chatter among the grape pickers.
As there is a light side to the story, there is also a dark and sinister side. The story slowly unfolds and the reader comes upon a death, which saddened me. The mix of emotions play well with the mix of characters who are linked in one way or another.
The characterisation was blissfully uncomplicated and easy to follow. We don’t get to discover their backgrounds as much as I would have liked to, but perhaps that is a good thing – letting the focus stay on Roxanne and Armand, who bring the story full circle.
One scene that I loved was when Roxanne found peace and solitude at a convent. I felt the sheer happy but silent environment, and followed Roxanne’s thoughts throughout her stay there.
The pace of the story is just right and the reader glides into each chapters beautifully. Twisted Vine is the perfect name for such a story. There is romance and danger, a prefect recipe!
Sorry for absence but in the middle of the free promtion of Daffodils, my computer gave up. Since then I\’ve been logged out of my blogs. Here I am back again. Happily the freebie went well and after giving away almost 3000 copies of Daffodils ebook I pulled the plug and have since sold well. Thanks to all you lovely people who downloaded a copy. Please let me know if you enjoyed it.
Since then I\’ve had to put one of my beautiful cats to sleep and my beloved dog, Dylan, has had an emergency operation for a tumour in his mouth. We are awaiting the biopsy results with baited breath.
So let\’s hope that this is a turning point for everything.