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Archive for October, 2017

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 31 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

Finished the [GO BACKS] for The Tilting Leaves of Autumn and jumped right back into The Silent Song of Winter with Fetch-n-Forward. Five times in now, and I’ve somewhat of a process to this release bit—from the formatting to cover reveal and release events. Next go ‘round, I’ll have master docs to start fresh—makes it all oh-so-much easier!

 

Meanwhile, I’m a researching and writing fool. #amwriting  #NaNoWriMo  #NaNo2017

 

I do love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—The Whispering Winds of Spring#May2018

 

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Monday 30 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

Saturday and yesterday.

 

  • marketing for #TheLongShadowsofSummer – not so much
  • writing #TheSilentSongofWinter – not so much
  • dabbling with #TheWhisperingWindsofSpring – l’il bit…

 

BUT…

 

#TheTiltingLeavesofAutumn

  • read through, revisions and edits – check
  • beta readers revisions and edits – check
  • [GO BACKS] – only 10 left!
  • format for CreateSpace – next up!
  • and… ORDER COPIES!!!

Oh, and COVER REVEAL is coming in two weeks on the 10th!

 

#Seasons, #authorlife  #ammarketing  #amediting  #amwriting  #amresearching #amjuggling 

 

I love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—The Whispering Winds of Spring!  #May2018

 

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 28 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

  • marketing for #TheLongShadowsofSummer – not so much
  • writing #TheSilentSongofWinter #February2018 – not so much
  • dabbling with #TheWhisperingWindsofSpring #May2018 – l’il bit…

 

BUT…

 

#TheTiltingLeavesofAutumn #November2017

  • read through, revisions and edits – check
  • beta readers revisions and edits – check
  • [GO BACKS] – over half of ‘em done
  • format for CreateSpace – next up!
  • and… ORDER COPIES!!!

Oh, and cover reveal is coming in two weeks on the 10th!

 

#Seasons, #authorlife  #ammarketing  #amediting  #amwriting  #amresearching #amjuggling 

 

 

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 27 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

After my amazing day Wednesday, yesterday was more “normal” for me. But it was a weird day, too—SO | MANY | INTERRUPTIONS!!! Mostly good, all annoying… But I got through 60+ pages in #TheTiltingLeavesofAutumn #November2017. Next is my [GO BACKS] and beta reader notes, then it’s on to formatting and upload to CreateSpace!

Who know, maybe I’ll even have some time for Pearl (#TheSilentSongofWinter #February2018) today, too!

I love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—#TheWhisperingsWindsofSpring!  #May2018

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 27 October 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – WEEP NO MORE MY LADY by MARY HIGGINS CLARK

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – WEEP NO MORE MY LADY by MARY HIGGINS CLARK

 

Welcome to First Line Fridays, now hosted by Hoarding Books!!!

Tell us your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

 

 

 

THE BLURB:  

Elizabeth Lange has arrived at Cypress Point Spa in Pebble Beach, California, weary of heart and soul. Still grieving for her beloved sister, a famous actress who plunged to her death from her Manhattan penthouse, Elizabeth is determined to unearth the truth about how Leila died. Dashing multimillionaire Ted Winters stands accused of her murder, but Elizabeth has doubts.
Along the windswept cliffs of the Monterey coast, in luxurious bungalows, between gourmet meals and beachfront walks, uneasiness stalks Elizabeth while she begins opening doors to the past. As glimpses of the dark truth about Leila’s life and death — and about Elizabeth herself — start to crash against her mind, an ominous wave from an unexpected source threatens to engulf her entirely.

 

THE FIRST LINE:

The Kentucky sun was blazing hot.

 

MY THOUGHTS:  

If I’ve read this one, it’s been so long I don’t remember… but it’s Mary Higgins Clark, what’s not to love!

 

GENRE:

Mystery and Suspence

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Weep No More My Lady, Mary Higgins Clark

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 26 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

 

I actually felt amazing yesterday and am hoping it’s the adjustment in my medication and not a fluke… That’s the thing about autoimmune disease and chronic illness, the unpredictability. Not knowing from one day to the next is almost worse than the actual illness…

Still, an amazing day for me may not even be a busy day for a healthy person, and the tasks I accomplished, while ordinary, were gold star moments. Still, while amazing, I tire easily and had no energy for both revisions and writing… Good progress with revisions / edits for The Tilting Leaves of Autumn—release day is just over a month away!

 

Feeling pretty good today, and not so much on my plate, hoping to get some writing done today, too!  #TheSilentSongofWinter, #February2018

 

I love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—The Whispering Winds of Spring!  #May2018

 

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 25 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIME

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIME

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

I mentioned yesterday, eight days of “being on” and it hit yesterday—and hit hard! I was jello all.day.long. Didn’t get much o’ nuthin’ did!! Except recover… #autoimmunedisease  #itainteasy 

I love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—The Whispering Winds of Spring!  #May2018

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 25 October 2017 – WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK EXCERPT – THE TILTING LEAVES OF AUTUMN

WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK EXCERPT – THE TILTING LEAVES OF AUTUMN

 

#WreadingWednedsay is now dedicated to ‘wreading’ bits and excerpts from my books! Today I give you Scarlett’s mère et père.

 

* note: not the final cover.

 

 

He wasn’t a tall man, but Papá had been bigger than life. He sang and laughed, and swept Mamá into dance at the drop of a hat. He didn’t even need music. Of course, he twirled me and Ava ‘round and ‘round, too, our feet flailing like kite strings.

Papá had a moustache that tickled when he kissed me goodnight, and wavy hair as black as coal. His eyes were dark, too, but they were blue like Ava’s. Mamá’s eyes were blue, but hers were pale blue, like the water when the sun shines on it.

Only mine were brown. Papá said it was because I was special, my brown eyes. Like cocoa shortbread cookies, which were his favorite.

Mamá taught us reading and piano and needlework, lady things she called them, although we were too little to do much. I remember pricking my finger time and again as I tried to sew on a button or fix a ribbon in place. Ava didn’t care much for stitching and embroidery but I was most intrigued by it. Mamá gave me leftover fabric scraps and I’d make dresses and gowns for our dollies.

Papá was adventuresome. He took us for walks along the creek and through the vineyards. He boosted us on his shoulders and onto tree branches. Ava enjoyed riding on Papá’s shoulders but never liked being high up in a tree, not even low branches.

I did. I would scrabble from Papá’s strong arms to a low branch. I would hug the tree and stand up, reaching for the next branch up. Mamá scolded him time and again, but he just laughed and somehow his laughter made her laugh too.

Mamá was nervous, though, and never seemed fully relaxed. She was always busy, cleaning, doing something, fixing something. Even though she was married to the heir of the estate and was not supposed to go belowstairs or really do any manual labor, she frequently did so to fix her own tea or bring cookies to me and Ava. More than once, we followed her down the narrow stairs. And every time, Cook would reprimand her and shoo us away.

I remember once when Grandmére Marguerite caught her carrying a tray into the sitting room. Ava and I were shooed out of the room. Ava cried, trying to cling to Mamá’s blue satin skirts. But I sat by the door listening. I was just three at the time and the memory was a hazy one. But I do remember Grandmére’s raised voice, and Mamá’s quiet one, meek and servile in her mother-in-law’s presence.

The memories were tucked away like a flower pressed in the leaves of a Bible, treasured and preserved because its beauty had faded and wilted away.

I had lived the nightmare mon pére had created, but I clung to the pressed memories because they gave me joy. And sometimes, I could even smell the fragrance of them.

 

Papá—Fontaine—had not always been the monster he had become.

 

 

#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book Except, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons, Chapter One, Seasons, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 24 October 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

SPECIAL EDITION – REMOCTWRIMO

“I would return again someday, at least I prayed I might. I prayed both that my friends wouldn’t search for me, and that they would. I told them not to come after me; I hoped they would.”

 

Had the ol’ mammo-grammo yesterday,  #squishysquishy, and had to go to the pharmacy and store. And of course, it was pouring buckets of rain while I was out. With or without the rain, eight days of being “on” and I’m shot today. (I knew it was coming, and it hit hard!) Will get some reading / editing / revising done in The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, but not looking good to work on The Silent Song of Winter

 

I love how these stories are overlapping and intertwining, each new one going back to the previous ones, and tying them all together! Can’t wait to get to Simone’s story—The Whispering Winds of Spring#May2018

 

“I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, #RemOctWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Woods of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 24 October 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE FEATURE – THE SORROW STONE by J.A. MCLACHLAN

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY FEATURE – THE SORROW STONE by J.A. MCLACHLAN

                                                                             

What if you could sell your sorrow?
During the middle ages, a mother mourning the death of her child believed she could “sell her sorrow” by selling a nail from her child’s coffin to a traveling peddler.
Lady Celeste is overwhelmed with grief when her infant son dies. Desperate to find relief, she escapes the convent where her husband has sent her to recover and begs a passing peddler to buy her sorrow. Jean, the cynical peddler she meets, is nobody’s fool; he does not believe in superstitions and insists Celeste include the valuable ruby ring on her finger along with the nail in return for his coin.
When Celeste learns that without her wedding ring her husband may set her aside, she determines to retrieve it—without reclaiming her sorrow. But how will she find the peddler and convince him to give up the precious ruby ring?

 

The thud of stones meeting flesh filled his ears. He felt, in his own body, the hot, burning pain as each one hit, tearing the thin fabric of her shift, digging into her bruised and bleeding flesh. It should be him there, not her. He could not move, speak, breathe…

Something shoved up against his leg. His breath emerged in a gasp.

“Mama!”

A girl of five or six squeezed past him. She pushed her way through the crowd till she reached the front, crying all the while, “Mama! Mama!”

The woman’s face was hidden, covered by her hair. The air was thick with stones. Again and again they struck her, but still she did not cry out.

“Mama!” the child screamed again.

The woman looked up.

“Mama!” She sprinted across the open ground. A stone whizzed past her ear. A second hit her back, flinging her to the ground.

The woman cried out then, a wild, animal shriek. It echoed, hideous and compelling, across the square.

She would be killed! The horror of it swept over Jean as he stared at the fallen child. No! He could not bear that! He shoved his way through the crowd, unable to look away from the woman, unable to escape the terror in her eyes as she strained against her bonds, struggling to reach the child sprawled on the ground. She shrieked again, a high, keening noise. Jean gritted his teeth to keep from screaming with her.

At the edge of the crowd he stopped. What was he doing? What in the name of Heaven had come over him?

Then the child moaned and the woman screamed again and Jean ran forward, unable to stop himself. The little girl tried to roll over as Jean reached her. He was no longer looking at the woman, but he felt her strain toward him as he bent down and scooped up the child.

A stone struck the side of his head as he straightened. He staggered, almost dropping the child. He regained his footing and turned to race back to the safety of the crowd.

“The adulterer!” a man cried.

Other voices took up the cry. He stepped forward, but the gap in the crowd where he had pushed through to get to the child had closed against him. A second stone hit his arm. There could be no mistaking that this one was meant for him. He saw the metal smith among the crowd, his arm drawn back, aiming. As Jean watched, he flung his stone.

It hit Jean’s shoulder with a stinging blow that took his breath away. He crouched over the child, holding her tightly to him, more aware of the woman’s anguished cries behind him and the child’s terror than his own pain. Two more stones came flying at him; one missed its mark but the other hit the child’s leg. She screamed and twisted, trying to burrow into him. A third stone hit her cheek, drawing blood. He wrapped both arms around her, leaving his own head exposed as he searched for an opening in the crowd.

 

 

rem:   Hullo Jane Ann, and congratulations on your new story! If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

JANE ANN:  If we’re talking “live”, I’d stay right here. I think we have it pretty good right now in Canada, and besides, all the people I love are here. I write very realistic, researched historical fiction of the Middle Ages. No one who is used to 21st Century comfort, health care, and hygiene would want to live there. But I wouldn’t mind a short visit to any number of eras.

rem:   Yes, you DO write very realistic and authentic fiction! And I’m with you, I’ll go visit most anywhere, any time, but wouldn’t want to live there! Where did you find this story idea?

JANE ANN:   I first heard the folk lore it’s based on at a lecture given by a midwife about pregnancy and childbirth in the Middle Ages. I knew I wanted to write about it right away. But it took years of research before the story emerged.

rem:   Again, yes, the depth of authenticity in your story doesn’t come quick—or easy or cheap! And your writing shines for it. Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

JANE ANN: Gilles. He’s a minor character who doesn’t show up until the end but when I started writing from his POV, the chapter just leaped off the page with life.

Celeste was the most difficult because when she sells her sorrow, she loses her memories (if she remembered she’d be sad all over again) and she loses her ability to feel emotions. It was very hard to write an unfeeling (literally) character and still make her sympathetic. She wants both back, but at the same time she doesn’t want them back, because her grief for her son was crippling. She’s a very complicated character, and it took a lot of rewrites to get her right.

rem:   And you pulled it off, too, Jane Ann. I ached for her. Well, I wanted to flog her for running, too, but totally understand why she felt the way she did. What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

JANE ANN: I chew gum. If I’m out of gum (and I try not to be) I chew my fingernails. When I have no more fingernails, I chew on a pencil. Once I chewed on a pen but I got a mouthful of ink. You can see why I try to never be out of gum.

rem:   Note to self: send Jane Ann some chewing gum… What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

JANE ANN:  I sew a quilt. Or go to a movie. Or read a book. But designing a quilt is best because it satisfies my urge to create something without requiring the mental focus of writing a novel.

rem:   No kidding re the mental focus! I’d love to see some of your quilts sometime! What a lovely outlet for your creativity. Jane Ann, congratulations again, and thank you for taking time to visit with me on the blog today.

 

  1. A. McLachlan was born in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of a short story collection, CONNECTIONS, published by Pandora Press and two College textbooks on Professional Ethics, published by Pearson-Prentice Hall. She has been reading literary fiction, science fiction and historical fiction in equal measure all her life. Walls of Wind was her first published Science Fiction novel. She has two young adult science fiction novels, The Occasional Diamond Thief and The Salarian Desert Game, published by EDGE Publishing. And her first historical fiction, The Sorrow Stone, set in the 12th Century, is now available. She is represented by Carrie Pestritto at Prospect Agency.

 

http://www.janeannmclachlan.com

https://www.facebook.com/janeann.mclachlan

 

  • At first he did not know it was a human being. She lay crumpled on the ground like a bundle of dirty rags tossed aside by some trader.
  • She held out her closed left hand. “Buy it! For the love of God, buy my sorrow before I go insane!” Slowly she opened her fingers. A long black nail, slightly bent near the flattened head, lay across her small white palm.
  • “I cannot remember,” she said. She had had this problem yesterday, but she had been certain a night of sleep would resolve it.
  • Celeste’s eyes widened. She covered her mouth with her hand to prevent herself crying out. Was it true? She remembered the ring, the physical weight of it on her finger, knew it to be her husband’s marriage token. But she could not remember receiving it. She knew her husband’s name but could not visualize his face. He was like a silvered image in her mind, flat and cold, without any distinguishing features.
  • Jean’s wife, Mathilde, had sewed a dozen silk handkerchiefs and embroidered crosses on them. They could sell profitably in their own right, but Jean tripled their value by claiming that they had been blessed at the Saint’s shrine in Santiago.
  • She must confront the peddler alone when she found him. If Lord Bernard learned she had willingly given away her marriage ring, it would not matter that she had later retrieved it.
  • “Lady Celeste? Do you believe God did not hear you?” Celeste looked up, shaken. Father Jacques was watching her, waiting for her answer.
  • The door opens slowly, the quiet scrape of its movement ominous in the darkness. Her feet are frozen to the cold stone floor; she cannot even raise her hand to cover her face, although she cannot bear to see inside the room. The door is fully open now; she cannot breathe, her terror is so great. How small it is, so small it makes her ache. It only covers half the bench it rests on.  She steps through the doorway, stretching her hand toward the little wooden casket—
  • The donkey woke him, braying and surging to its feet. Jean was up almost as quickly, straining to see in the darkness.  Several murky shadows crept between the trees, slightly darker than the surrounding gloom. He swung his staff up as the first one came at him, and heard a satisfying CRACK!
  • Her memory was sparse and fragmented, like a length of cloth after the dress pieces have been cut away from it.
  • It was one thing not to care for people; quite another not to care for God.
  • They passed their sorrow onto others, the nobility. They shed suffering as a snake sheds its skin.

 

  1. To get the setting and period right in The Sorrow Stone, I flew to France and travelled the entire route Jean and Celeste take, including the Cluny Monastery. I drove local guides and historians crazy asking “Was this castle/monastery/building here in the 12th Century? What trades were practiced here then? What was the climate and vegetation like here in the 12th Century?”
  2. When I first heard the folk superstition about selling your sorrow, I was writing speculative fiction at the time, so I tried using the idea in a story, and it totally failed. A publisher, who liked the concept also, asked me, “Why don’t you just write it in the Middle Ages, where it came from?” (Duh, right?) It took years of research to do that, but I’m glad I did. (rem: me too!) Meanwhile, I changed the original story, got rid of all references to sorrow, rewrote it and found a publisher for it. Can you guess which of my novels it is?
  3. After I wrote Gilles’ chapters, I realized I really liked writing young adults, so I wrote three more novels with young adult protagonists. I still find teens the most fun age to write about.
  4. After reading The Sorrow Stone, a reader told me “You do tortured souls really well.” I don’t know if that’s a compliment or a personality flaw, but I realized that I have always been drawn to complex, conflicted characters and the authors who portray them. Here’s my list: The Idiot by Dostoyevski, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Hamlet and King Lear by Shakespeare, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, The Gold Finch, The Hunger Games… I just realized this list could go on for ten pages.
  5. I once read every novel in my seven preferred genres at the local library, and had to find something else to do till they got more in.
  6. My seven preferred genres (not in any order) are: science fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, fantasy, young adult/coming of age fiction.
  7. I started out writing poetry, and had several of my poems published in anthologies while I was in university.
  8. I once wrote a story which my older sister accused me of plagiarizing from a picture book from the library. I was, like, 8 years old. It was unintentional, but true. I was so mortified at being accused of “cheating” that I quit writing prose altogether. Then, in grad school, I realized that ALL Shakespeare’s dramas and historicals were re-tellings of popular tales or histories. It’s not the tale but how you spin it that makes it original.
  9. Every author has favorites from among their novels. For me, it’s a tie between The Sorrow Stone and Walls of Wind. I’m not sure I’ll ever love another story of mine as much as I love those two.
  10. I love teaching and speaking, no matter the size of the audience. But there was a time I was so nervous about it, a friend asked me whether she should warn my audience to wear raincoats. It wasn’t my voice I was afraid of projecting.

 

Sorrow is a dark companion, a tormenting thing, driving us sometimes to madness.

 

Churning thoughts and vague memories torment Lady Celeste, pushing her to madness in her grief. Selling her sorrow, though, does not bring the relief she so desperately seeks.

 

The peddler, Jean, has no scruples and doesn’t believe the superstition. But his fate seems inexplicably tangled with the Lady whose sorrow he bought—and whose ring he helped himself to.

 

The conflict and agony that drives Lady Celeste is dark and frightening, and very real. The sense of dread—and guilt—that plagues her drives her away from the very place she would be safest. I longed for her memory to surface, no matter how horrible the thing she hid from herself. I longed for the peace of knowing, and accepting, what could not be changed. I fought with her against shadowed memories, and fought with her to cling to the sweet ones.

 

I wanted to throttle the peddler, while feeling an element of sympathy for him, for the life he lived, cruel and crude and harsh. I longed for his peace as much as for Lady Celeste.

 

 

Ms. McLachlan’s storytelling is impeccable, her details and knowledge of life in 12th century France evident on every page. The terminology and vernacular put the reader right on the road with the peddler, or in the abbey with Lady Celeste. The sights and sounds—and smells—come alive as the characters move through their paces. And the story, so tightly woven, compels the reader to keep turning the page.

Both main characters have their storyline, and Ms. McLachlan has interwoven them skillfully into one intricate story, bringing it to a gripping climax and fitting resolution.

 

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, The Sorrow Stone, J.A. McLachlan

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