My guest post for the Amazing The Book Lovers Blog!

Z. Elizabeth

10401084Synopsis

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

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Review by Natasha Bowyer

Storm is the first full length novel in the Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental…

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Staff Room Gossip

I have no idea how we got onto the topic in the staff room today, but somehow we ended up discussing all the weird and wonderful quirks our husbands / partners have.. and don’t we all know that they have them! 

So one of my lovely colleagues was telling us that her partner always insists on walking on the side of the traffic whenever they are walking anywhere, something that she finds amusing but just a teeny bit annoying.

Really? I think that it is romantic and old fashioned and a sign of impeccable good manners that are seriously lacking in this day and age. 

I love the notion so much that I even used the situation in The Uni File: Year One. 

As my friend reminded me of it today I thought I would dig out that section and post it as a sneaky excerpt.

Here it is:

 

I wave goodbye to everyone and head towards the door, Ben follows me, I kind of know he will.

“I am going to walk.” I say. I could do with the fresh air.

“Uh, no you’re not.”

“Yes I am.”  

“Well, then I am walking with you.”

He sighs and falls into step with me. After about five minutes he rather bizarrely switches sides and walks on the edge of the pavement.

“What are you doing?”

“Walking by the traffic.”

“You know I am twenty-six right? Not six?”

He turns and smiles.

“I know, but I am doing it anyway.”

I can’t help but smile, it is very gentlemanly and old fashioned and it is gives me warm fuzzy feelings as we meander down the Upper Richmond Road on our way home. After another five minutes I slide my hand into his. He does not say anything, just walks along next to me in silence holding my hand.

When we get home he hesitates outside my door.

“Lilah, do you think I could take you on another date?” His voice is low and he looks so bashful standing there, I nod my agreement with little hesitation.

“It’s just that I realised that I only ever took you out properly once. We just, we just. Well you know.”

He is blushing bright red.

“Had sex?” I add helpfully, but then I go bright red as well, which makes us both giggle.

“That would be lovely. Thanks for walking me home, Ben,” I say as I head into my room.

“You’re welcome, Lilah.”

 Mm. I am not sure what to think of this turn of events. What does it mean? Snogging in Foxtons? Walking me home? Asking for a date?

All I know is I am sitting here grinning my head off like a complete fool.

I need to sleep on it. It will be clearer in the morning.

Life as it Happens

I haven’t written a post in what feels like ages. Not because I have been too busy coming up with such amazing ideas for my new book that it is guaranteed to become a worldwide best seller, but rather because I have been a little bit too busy living my real life.

Yes that is right, sometimes I have to prioritise and leave my imaginary friends and their stories behind for a few days and for a while I just have to be me.

It’s not that easy to do. You can’t just stop the ideas from coming or ignore them in the hope they go away. The way I deal with them is to just leave them there, floating around, developing until I am able to get to my laptop and put them down the way I want. The way I write is a little strange, I have to visualise every conversation my characters have in the tiniest detail before I write it down. This means I spend a lot of time sitting and staring or pacing as I work through imagined conversations. And yes people do look at me like I am mad – my husband is always catching me on the verge of talking to myself, I think he is getting used to it now.

So for a few days I have just been Mum, and do you know what it has been great. I have had fun with my children, we even went and got a puppy at the weekend as a family – much to the annoyance of our naughty tortie. 

It’s been fun, and my kids love me for it, but that is not the best bit. The best bit is that in giving myself to my family for a few days and allowing my other persona a rest I have finally managed to unlock the severe case of writers block I have been struggling with the last few weeks. 

I haven’t forgotten how to write my characters, or run out of ideas (all things I have been worrying about in the middle of the night) we just needed a holiday from each other. Now they are back and they are on fire, begging to be written down.

 

So tomorrow, I will be Mum in the morning, TA in the afternoon and writer in the evening, and I will love it all because it is my life. My life just as it happens.

Deconstructing a Romance

It’s a fact, I am having a few issues with the second Uni File. It’s not something I am scared to admit to people but obviously it is something that I would like to fix relatively soon.

The thing is, it’s not that I am short of ideas. I actually have so many ideas it is impossible to get them all down in a coherent manner. I am on my third re-write of The Uni File: Year Two – The Art of Keeping Faith. I have effectively thrown away around one hundred and twenty thousand words. Imagine that! Imaging throwing away that many words because you are not happy with them!

Over the weekend I set myself the task of trying to work out why I was having so many problems with my creative flow. Late last night as I sat staring at my laptop I finally realised what the problem is.

The Uni Files is a three novel series, I know in the dark recesses of my mind and in my deepest heart exactly where the story is going. I already have the end of book three clearly mapped out and I know the course my characters have to take to get there. But the truth is that it is rather painful to write and as such I would rather put it off.

I spent the first novel creating a love story that was so deep and believable and perfectly romantic that hopefully anyone reading it would fall in love with the characters and their relationship and want to know more about what happens to them next.

Now … Now with this story I am in the position that I have to unpick that relationship and take it apart piece by piece. It’s hard to write because although I know that the ending is going to be kick ass good, I have to get my characters to that ending.

It’s like introducing your two best friends to each other, watching them fall in love and then having to stand on the side-lines whilst they tear each other apart.

I was thinking about it yesterday and it kind of reminds me of the chef’s on Masterchef where they offer up a ‘deconstructed’ something or other. Like a deconstructed Peach Melba or something along those lines. It still tastes like a peach melba, it still has the same ingredients as a peach melba but it looks nothing like one whatsoever.

This is a bit what it is like where I am with my writing right now. I am deconstructing a romance. They are still the same characters, it is still the same underlying relationship and it is still the same feelings and emotions binding them together but it just does not look quite the same right now. I have to take them apart to put them back together only this time moving them forward so they are unique to this novel and therefore infinitely stronger.

That’s what real life is like though isn’t it? When I first started my writing endeavours I always promised I would keep it real. I would never gloss over anything, it had to represent life and relationships as they actually happen. This is why I always put my characters through the ringer before I allow them their happy ending because that is what you have to do in life. You have to work hard at the things you want, sometimes it is not pretty and sometimes it is a real slog but you keep going because you want the thing you are working for more than anything.

I want my characters to have that ending that I have already written for them but to do so they have to work for it, and so do I.

So it’s going to hurt but I am going to persevere, I am going to take them apart one painful page at a time so that I can stick them back together and make their story all the more believable for it. 

Today’s song

I haven’t got time to do a full post today, I wish I did but Mr B is going to blow a gasket if I don’t stop messing about on my laptop….
This is my song for the day and it is leading up to a big post on Monday!!
A Little Bit Stronger…

World Book Day

It’s World Book Day! What a great idea, lots and lots of excited school children all going into school dressed up as their favourite characters clutching their favourite book. If you go to my school you will be wearing your pyjama’s – I am not too sure why!

It has made me think of something. What was my favourite book? The book that got me into the obessive reading habit (do not talk to me when I am holding a book) that I still have today.

It has got to be Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers. I can remeber it like it was yesterday, mum bought me the book at the school book fair and I started reading on the way home. I refused to get out of the car at the shops and instead stayed in there by myself while the rest of the family went shopping. I still have my original Malory Towers set on pride of place on my bookshelf along with the many other hundreds I have collected since. Some of  my Enid Blyton’s are first editions which I very helpfully decided to ‘fix’ with sellotape when I was young. Oh well. That is what books are for, enjoying not keeping on display.

When I was thirteen I picked up a different kind of book and it completely changed the path my life was on. I am not just talking about on an emotional level. I mean literally changed my entire perception of everything.

Katherine by Anya Seton. Holy cow that book blew me away and instilled in my a deep love of all thing history. In fact when I went for my interview at Uni and they asked me what it was that made me want to study history I very proudly told them that it was this book and this intense need I had to ‘discover’ the truths behind it. 

For my dissertation I wrote a 10,000 word paper on John of Gaunt even thought it was the hardest subject I could do, just because I wanted to finish what I had started with that book all those years ago. I still stare lovingly at all my Medieval History books even though I don’t get time to read them any more  and I still have all my post-it notes stuck in them from my dissertation days, they are now yellow and non-sticky from the ensuing decade that has passed.

Even now, ten years later the book and the subject has such a strong hold on my that I have managed to sneak my own little ‘Ode to Katherine’ in my own novels. For those with a keen eye, there is a Latin phrase which my main character Lilah uses on a gift for Ben. This is from Katherine, I wanted to put something in that would pay homage to the book that changed my life. I am still using it now in my second book. An indirect reference to something that is deeply personal to me and always has been. Faith really does conquer and books really can change lives especially when you are a little girl sitting in a sunny spot on the back seat of a car opening up a big wide world of opportunity and delight.

 

Is there a book that has changed your life?

 

And yes I will be wearing my pyjama’s to school this afternoon because how could I not. World Book Day? I say hell yes!!