I've been hard at work lately on Doctor's Orders, the next book in the Copper Creek story. I thought I'd reveal a bit of what is coming!
* Drew. I loved Adam and his undying love for Lily. I hate to say it but I think Drew is even more swoonworthy.
* That weird community up the hill? Yeah, they're not going away any time soon.
* Adam. Being settled down hasn't got rid of his demons. When he's vulnerable, his past will come back and haunt him.
Adam has PTSD. It wasn't as evident in the first book, as I wanted to focus on Lily and her issues and not make it 120,000 word book. I wanted to take a bit more time to explore it and the effects it has on the people around him.
Also, watch out for the big secret to lead into Owen's book. I'll be working on Owen's book straight after Doctor's Orders. I just need a name for it. ;)
Coming Home has been out for around 3 weeks now, and I've been so grateful and happy to see the love pouring in for it.
Lily and Adam are two damaged souls who find comfort in their reunion. Their bumpy journey is far from over, and over the next couple of books we'll see more of what happened to Adam while he was away. He's already alluded to the rough time he had when he left the army, but we'll see what did that to him.
Next up is Drew, but in the meantime I have a book to write for the Lifetime series.
Finn is about to find out the truth about his father(s). And Sam is going to find someone special. Oh, and there'll be the last wedding you'd ever expect held on the farm. :D
ARCs went out a while ago, proofreading has been completed, and I'm nearly ready to press the go button on Coming Home.
This book really was a labour of love, and my sometimes dark and quirky series is so close to seeing the light of day. I'm so nervous! Adam and Lily are just amazing, and the cast of other characters (mainly Adam's brothers) are all such a joy to write as well.
His younger brother Drew gets a book next, and you do not want to miss his story. :D
And then there's Max. Max is such a delight and he's such a cool kid to write.
Too much awesomeness. :)
I am deep in edits at the moment. ARCs will be distributed soon and then onto the release!
I'm still finishing things off, but for the moment I thought I could share the first chapter of the book. This is so different to anything I've ever written, and the first chapter is a glimpse of the darker side of the book.
I need to get back to edits, so here we go!
Today is going to be the happiest day of my life. My wedding day
I wake and smile to myself, but something’s not quite right. The air is chilly and this doesn’t smell like my bedroom. My eyes are heavy, and I struggle to open them.
I blink, Mum’s built in work desks coming into focus. Mum’s sewing room? When she moved in this space was for storage. She had a bathroom put in so she could spend her days working down here, as she picked up sewing jobs from others in the town.
I turn my head. I’m on a mattress on the floor, and her sewing gear is gone. There are still the cupboards she stored her fabric in, emptied with the doors wide open, and the table and machine have been moved.
A sharp pain tears through my left leg, and my back aches from the awkward angle I’ve been lying. I try and push myself up on my elbows to take a look, but my head swims and the whole thing is way too much effort. What the hell is going on?
It takes a lot of effort, but I manage to get myself up a little. Enough to push back the blanket and spot the large bruise coming up on my calf. What happened last night, and why don’t I know how I ended up down here? I have no idea what the time is, but I’m marrying Adam today.
Panic rises in me as I struggle to stay upright, and I let myself sink down into the mattress again.
The answers come in the form of my mother. The handle rattles as she opens the door, and her heels click as she walks down the wooden stairs.
“You’re awake, sleepyhead,” she says.
“What the hell is going on?”
She gets onto her knees beside the mattress and leans over, kissing me on the forehead.
“I’m taking care of you. I brought you breakfast.”
“Why am I down here?”
Mum sighs. “I told you. I’m taking care of you.”
“I’m not sick. I’ve got to get ready. What’s the time? I have to be at the courthouse by ten.”
As she shakes her head, her eyes so sad, I know I’m in big trouble. “Shhh.”
“I have to protect you Lily. That boy’s just going to break your heart.”
A sob breaks from me, hot tears spilling down my cheeks. “What have you done?”
She smiles, and I know she truly believes the words that come out of her mouth next. “I’m keeping you safe. I won’t have you go through what I did. He’ll get you pregnant and then he’ll leave, and you’ll struggle the rest of your life. Or, you stay here with me.”
“Adam’s not like that.” I’m so weak, I can barely protest. What did she give me? She’s been on so many different drugs over the years, it could be anything.]
Bile rises in my throat. I push to stand up, but I’m so weak my hand barely moves me. Inside, I rage to escape but my body fails and my fury only grows. Everything’s foggy and so many thoughts pass through my mind as I’m unable to act on them.
Mum … no …
I start counting the days, but it’s hard when you have no way of keeping record.
When the power gets cut, I know it’s been at least six weeks. In the past Mum’s missed a couple of bills before it’s got to that stage.
The lighting’s usually pretty good in the basement. Mum had this place refitted several years ago when she turned it into her sewing room. The only saving grace is that there’s a toilet with handbasin in the corner.
Now there’s nothing, and I lie in the dark and listen to my heart beating for company.
A handful of times a day I get to the bathroom and back, but I always end up back in the same place. There’s nothing else to sit on.
Adam knows I’m gone—he must. Does he not wonder where I am? Did he come looking for me? Or has he deserted me just like Mum said he would?
The odds had always been against us. His mother took an instant dislike to me, no doubt buying into the rumours about Mum. For Mum’s part, she hasn’t done too badly these past years until now. Apart from the mending work she does, she’s kept to herself. It helped a lot when she started getting a few jobs from that weird commune place up on McKenzie’s Mountain.
It isn’t really a mountain, more like a hilly area up in the bush. Commune or cult, I don’t know, but it’s somewhere where they all dress the same and act weird. Whatever. It’s funny the random things that pop into your mind when you have nowhere to go and no way to get anywhere.
It’s Adam that weighs on my mind the most. A few weeks ago he loved me more than anything else on the planet. At least that was what he said. Where is he now?
Instead of being Mrs Adam Campbell, I’m sitting or lying around and no one’s found me. I thought this place would be the first place anyone would come looking, that Mum’s reputation would be enough for someone check. She has a history of being a little eccentric, and thanks to the open mouth policy that some people in Copper Creek practice, people know about her different medication … and yet, nothing. No knocks on the door. Only the occasional sound of her heels on the stairs as she brings me food.
When I get out of here, I’ll ask him for answers, ask why he’s abandoned me. My mind twists everything, including the love I bore him. My heart still belongs to him, but did his ever belong to me?
Doubt is demoralising.
Being demoralised is scary.
It’s the kind of thing that can kill you in this situation. That overwhelming feeling that there is no hope.
I close my eyes and think about the dark house above.
Mum wouldn’t disconnect the power deliberately. Without fail she watches her soap operas, and how’s she going to catch her daily dose of drama with no power?
I pray she gets it back before she decides to light the house with candles. No one knows I’m here if anything goes wrong. So simple and yet so deadly.
This is a nightmare I can’t wake up from.
It’s the dark that haunts my dreams.
Coming Home is with my editor! I've agonised over a couple of details that have yet to be worked out, but things are coming together. :D
Anyway, I thought it was about time I shared another excerpt given that the book is one month away! I've shared teasers so far, but not much of the actual book. So, here's an unedited excerpt (still subject to change). This is a scene I'm kind of in love with.
A group of boys catch my attention as they run toward me. Their target is obvious, a small dark-haired boy whose leaner and faster than anything of them. And yet they keep chasing.
He looks back over his shoulder as he runs, and I stay watching until he slams into me. His lithe frame doesn’t make a dent, and I look down. Big blue eyes look back at me, not quite hidden by the dark mop of hair covering the boy’s head.
“Hi,” I say.
The boy keeps staring at me. At the sound of footsteps, I shift my gaze back over his head to the larger boys closing in on their target. They slow down as they take me in.
“Lucky,” one of them says.
They walk past, giving the boy filthy looks. One even has the nerve to spit at his feet and I give him a dirty look in return, taking in every detail I can.
When they’re gone, I kneel in front of the boy. Still silent, still staring.
“Max! I thought I’d never catch up. Those damn kids. Please don’t run, let me deal with them.” A female voice comes from the same direction the boy has run from. The school’s that way, I’m picking they’ve chased him from there.
She draws level. “Thank you. Thank you so much. They bully him all the time, and he just ran, and I couldn’t stop him.” The words tumble from her, and her tone suggests stress and agitation.
I stand, finding myself looking into the same blue eyes the kid has. My heart stops. These are the same blue eyes I once fell in love with.
Excuse the lack of content and general disorder. ;) I was going to combine this site with the Ariadne Wayne until I had more to add to it, but decided against that. It'll just be way too confusing. :D
So, here is my new site. I hope you like what little there is here so far.
To celebrate, I'm posting an unedited excerpt of Coming Home. I'm still working out what social media to use. As it is I've got two Facebook pages, two Twitter accounts, and an Instagram account. I'm not sure yet if I'll use two of everything.
Now, this book is going to be a little quirky. It has a twist that I don't think people will see coming. I've got a couple of beta readers lined up, and when I told one of them what I was doing, she freaked out and told me I had to do it. It's not a dark romance by any means, but when the Hero returns to town, he finds out that something happened to his former girlfriend when he was gone. Something very unsettling.
This book is very much his book as far as him returning home. He's not without his own issues. But Coming Home is also Lily's book, and him returning conjures up a whole heap of memories for her. Not all of them pleasant.
And the series? The series is about five very different brothers with very different stories. It's about the family's dynamic and how they try to work within the bounds of having this mother who wants to control everything, and a father who they don't think ever fought for any of them. As well as the things that happen behind the scenes in a sleepy little town. ;)
We turn on the television and watch Finding Nemo. It’s Max’s favourite movie, but halfway through he falls asleep. My eyes prick with tears as I watch Adam pick up Max from the floor. He’s so gentle and I guide him up the narrow staircase as he carries Max to his room and places him on the bed. I pull a blanket over my son and kiss his forehead. He doesn’t even stir.
For a moment we both watch over Max before I stand and Adam follows me out to the hallway and back down the stairs.
“I should go,” he says softly, his gaze penetrating me. I lower my eyes, unable to take his intensity.
“Thanks for taking care of Max. He really loved it.”
He nods. “He’s a good kid. Those other children don’t know what they’re missing out on.”
I bite down on my lower lip to stop it wobbling, tears forming. “He’s the best,” I manage to whisper.
Adam reaches out, touching his palm to my cheek and running his thumb across my lower lip. I have an overwhelming urge to kiss it, perhaps the contact would still my pounding heart. Instead I meet his eyes, still focused on my own
“Lock the door behind me. Be safe, Lily.”
He withdraws his hand and cool air fills the gap between us. All this time and everything against us and I just want him to take me in his arms, kiss me, and make me forget all the time in between exists.
Instead I nod, unable to speak for fear of telling him what I think. He’s been to my home, satisfying his curiosity. When he leaves town again I’ll have this tiny moment to remember him by. It’s better than the last memory.
Part time writer, full time worker and mother. Will read almost anything. Enjoys writing and loves all her characters a little too much ...