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2019 – An Honest Review

As 2019 draws to a close, is been a year rejections for Just Say It, my pantser-style first attempt at a novel.  But I am, older, tougher and wiser now; I can take criticism on the chin (crying emoji!).  So, I will say goodbye to 2019 feeding off the constructive criticism and positive feedback I've received during the year.

Meet the Dysfunctional Family

Just Say It is my first novel, which I 'finished' in June 2019 and, I've been editing it ever since! It is the first and last time I write a novel pantser-style; I will never throw myself into writing a book again without much-advanced planning. I still have faith in Lisa Grant and her dysfunctional family, and in 2020 I hope to convince an agent that her story is a viable one.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with few members of the cast.

STAR-CROSSED LOVERS

Elizabeth was born in her grandparent’s cottage on the Ditton Hall Estate owned by Viscount Rutherford.  Her mother, Gertrude, was the eldest daughter of Walter Clemmens, Rutherford’s gamekeeper and her father, Edward Campbell, was Rutherford’s son. Poles apart on the social scale, but bound together by a love so strong nothing could tear them apart.

New Life

8th October 1959 The day a young Margaret Thatcher first became an MP for Finchley, Elizabeth's waters finally broke in front of the Aga in the kitchen.  She was way over her due date, and Anna had rung a few times during the proceeding weeks, asking if she was okay and offering to chat about... Continue Reading →

Into Exile

The year is 1965 and, despite her own infidelity, Elizabeth divorces Fergus after exposing his love affair with fellow polo player, Thomas. Fergus and Thomas are made to feel outcasts amongst their friends and are banished from their homes, which makes it impossible for them to stay in the UK.  Fergus hears about a remote, ailing vineyard inland from Guia in the Algarve, in need of a little renovation, and they leave the UK to start a new life together in Portugal.

When you realise what an idiot you’ve been… 38,000 feet above the Atlantic

After eighteen years apart, Lisa realises she is still in love with Jack, but after he misinterprets a fond farewell between Lisa and Rory, he flounces off home to NYC.  This extract is the lead up to the agonising moment Jack realises he has got things horribly wrong.  February 2000 Jack was holding the neck of an... Continue Reading →

It was not the place to be howling with laughter…

The reading of Arthur’s Will was expected to be straightforward and that he would dutifully leave his fortune to his grieving widow.  A few minutes before her outburst, Lisa had been fighting to control her anger and Elizabeth, as usual, was the focus of her irritation. She’d arrived late, dressed like the Queen about to meet a head of state but, thankfully, not wearing a hat. She waited for the solicitor to pull up a chair for her and sat in wide-eyed anticipation waiting for the reading to start, whilst stifling the odd theatrical tear. 

Fisticuffs at Fanny’s

It is the 8th of October 1980, and it's Lisa Grant's twenty-first birthday.  She has recently been reunited with her father, Fergus, who lays on a party for her at her favourite restaurant in Soho, Fanny's Bistro.   The tables are hastily rearranged to accommodate one uninvited guest, Lisa's mother, Elizabeth.  Towards the end of... Continue Reading →

CHARACTER INSIGHT – Fergus Grant

The year is 1958 and my main character, Lisa Grant, has not yet been born.  I would like to introduce you to her charismatic young father, Fergus. On the brink adulthood, he is still enjoying his carefree life before he meets the force of nature that is Lisa's mother, Elizabeth.

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