I was tagged by the prolific Lori Crane in a Work-in-progress blog hop. I like the word Work-in-progress, as it implies that creative juices are flowing and everything is alright in the world – at least if you’re a writer. Of course, at times the challenge lies in the fact that there is too much work-in-progress lying about, and seriously, there are days when I feel very fragmented.
Lori appears to be a somewhat more structured lady than I am – at present she is hard at work writing a series detailing the lives of her ancestors and their arrival in America. I am somewhat impressed by her pedigree. Me, it’s mostly smallholders and miners in the far north of Sweden, none of them gifted with the imagination of even dreaming of a life elsewhere – until my grandfather took the drastic step of moving his entire family south, albeit still in Sweden. My father, inspired by his daredevil father (who, if we’re going to be honest, had no choice: he was too small and puny to work in a mine) took things a further step and moved us all to South America, where I was fortunate enough to attend British schools while enjoying the vibrant Latino culture, so different from us Swedes.
Anyway, the rules of this little blog hop are simple:
- Tag back to whoever nominated you – done!
- Nominate other authors
- Post the first few lines of your first three chapters in your ongoing WIP
I’ve decided to nominate two authors:
First of all, the lovely Andrea Zuvich, a 17th century fan like myself who maintains an excellent,erudite and elegant blog and who writes about the Stuarts (for her books, see here). Andrea has something of a crush on Prince Rupert, that talented and vivacious Stuart relative who for some time ensured the Royalists held their own. Me, I’m no Prince Rupert fan, no matter how dashing the man was, but I forgive her, just as I’m assuming she forgives me for having my heart in the other camp. Andrea is my go-to person when it comes to William III and Mary II, is a proficient baker and also shares a South American connection with me – except that her part of South America is further south than mine, home to deserts and snow-capped mountains.
Secondly, the magnificent Helen Hollick, author of a compelling series about King Arthur, of a heart wrenching book about King Harold and a number of other books (see here). First and foremost, in my opinion, Helen has gifted the world with Jesamiah Acorne, dashing pirate who dresses his hair with blue ribbons, who is torn between his love for the sea and his love for Tiolia, a white witch who fares badly when at sea. Helen is very involved in HNS (Historical Novel Society), lives in a rural setting with dogs and horses round her feet (well, not the horses, one hopes) and is a generous supporter of other authors. She is also something of a hat fetishist, one rakish creation after the other adorning her head. At present, other than maintaining her informative and entertaining blog and her website, Helen is hard at work on the next Jesamiah novel – as she should, so that people like me don’t expire due to abstinence symptoms.
And so to number three. And people, this is where I have to admit I have a major, major problem with this, as I don’t know which WIP to post from! At present, I am torn between a series set in the 14th century, and one set in the here and now involving souls that have been around in one way or the other for the last three millennia. (This last WIP is probably a reflection on my own hopes that one day I’ll wake up and say “OMG, I’m actually Alexander the Great in a reborn format!” Thing is, such statements cannot be made out loud, as no sooner have they been made but one might find oneself under serious psychological evaluation)
After a number of ennie-meenie-minnie-mo exercises, I have decided to post from In the Shadow of the Storm, the first in a series set around the 1320s, in an England torn asunder by internal conflicts. A deficient king and his grasping favourite face off against rebellious barons, first and foremost Baron Mortimer. Caught up in all this is Adam de Guirande, a man who owes everything to Sir Roger Mortimer – including his well-dowered wife. And as to Kit, Adam’s wife, she has been forced into a situation where she must pretend to be Adam’s intended bride, thereby duping Adam. Not, perhaps, the most auspicious start to a marriage…
“Will she do?” The voice came from somewhere over her head.
“Do? She will have to, won’t she?”
With a series of grunts, the men carrying her deposited her in a cart. Kit made as if to protest. A large hand gripped her by the neck, tilted her head, and held something to her mouth. No. No more. She spat like a cornered cat, to no avail. Her mouth was forced open, sweet wine was poured, obliging her to swallow. And then there was nothing but a spinning darkness. Nothing at all.
Adam de Guirande approached his impending nuptials with as much enthusiasm as a lamb about to be led to the slaughter. Had it not been for the dowry, further enlarged by the baron’s generous gift, he would have refused the honour, all too aware of the fact that most men viewed his intended wife as used goods.
When Kit woke some hours later, she was alone – for an instant, before Mabel bustled into the room, followed by two maids.
“All right then?” she asked, gesturing for one of the girls to hand Kit a steaming earthenware mug.
“Alive, at least,” Kit replied, seeing no reason to tell the old crone she’d actually enjoyed some parts – a few parts – of yesterday’s events. She sipped at the hot cider. One of the maids opened the shutters, and an icy blast of wind flew through the room. A bowl of water was set down, Mabel clucked happily at the sight of the bloodied sheets, bundled them into the arms of one of the maids and shooed them all out, before having Kit sit down on a stool while she brushed her hair.
Well, people, that’s all for this time. I must rush back to yet another of my WIPs – and this time it is Alex and Matthew clamouring for attention. Seriously, it’s a miracle I remain as mentally sane as I do!
For my published books, see here.