Surprise Price Reduction

Courting the Countess was on offer from Endeavour Media at 99p Now available for £2.99

Lady Melissa Pateley is not having an easy time of it.

Her beloved husband Neville has died, and a fire at her London home has left her covered in scars.

If it wasn’t for a band of loyal servants, she’s not sure how she would survive.

Things take a turn for the worse when one day, Colonel Harry Gunn and his fellow soldier Zed break into her home, bundle her into a coach and kidnap her.

She is at a loss until she learns that Harry Gunn is the cousin of George Gunn, a man who has been stalking her for years, and that Harry’s Uncle John had warned him that as long as George is out there, Melissa is not safe.

Uncle John insists that Harry finds Melissa and keeps her safe.

But that very night George shows up at Harry’s home with Harry’s sister Lottie, who thinks Melissa and George would make a good match.

Perhaps Melissa would have been safer at home after all.

Yet even with her scars, she is certain that the handsome Colonel Gunn is attracted to her.

But of course, nothing is ever simple.

Startling revelations rip the family apart, causing everyone to question what they once held dear.

As Colonel Gunn goes in search of George and the truth, he has to wonder – had the keeping of secrets not marred more lives than the secrets would have destroyed?


Round Robin – Plotting

Rhobin’s topic for September is about plotting. She wonders what, in designing our plots, we rely on most: personal experience, imagination or research.

This is a really difficult question to answer because its list of choices belies the delicate meshing of these three aspects of writing. They intertwine in a seamless fashion in my practice.

INMAGINATION – probably takes the lead, if I have to choose, because if you weren’t imagining, how would you progress to story? Say you’re on the bus and have to listen to a drunk setting the world to rights, by their way of thinking. It’ll be garbled non-sense, but it will have grains of their experience buried in the damaged psyche. So my writer’s brain is already at work. Did he say his mother had no time for him because she was an actress? Did she say her father had no time for her because she was female? On and on, over and over till the essence of story is distilled. That probably leads on to:

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE – so, discounting the inciting incident, be it drunk on bus, toddler having tantrum, stray deer in garden, I will consider what my wider experience of life can bring to the fledgling idea. In particular, I am influenced by place. Ocasionally, I experience a wash of feeling that alerts me to a theme long buried in my subconscious. I can only compare it to the hormonal reactions we all have when confronted by some circumstances. There’s a story here and it wants/needs to break free. This scene in the nether regions of a country house underpinned quite a few stories:

The Laundry

I can almost smell bleach just looking at it now. And that brings me rather neatly to:

RESEARCH – because memory is notoriously faulty, research is needed. I write historical romance, but I do not make up the history. I write contemporary magazine fiction, but I don’t know everything about anything, really. One of the things I find about research, particularly when working in the historical genre, is that often I don’t know what I need to know when I start writing. I will have read a lot around and in the area, studied maps of the time, looked at fashion plates, but there comes that moment of uncertainty. When were scissors invented? What year was the window tax?

Another thought provoking topic from Rhobin. Thank you Ma’am. Other writers give their take and you can read them from the links below.

Capital Writers will have a bit of news shortly. Come back soon to find it out.


Margaret Fieland
Victoria Chatham
Skye Taylor
Beverley Bateman
Dr. Bob Rich
Diane Bator
Connie Vines
Anne Stenhouse
Rhobin L Courtright

Diary of a Writer – October

Being a mum of school-age children, daughter of a widowed mum and daughter-in-law of two, meant that the summer in years past passed in a blur. I used to look forward intensely, immensely to a small conference held in early October in Pitlochry. It was run by various people over the years and the late Hugh Rae used to attract speakers he’d met at Swanwick (a much bigger conference}.

My own room in Scotland’s Hotel was bliss and the first day of the first year I attended, the time between 4pm and 6pm stretched almost to infinity. As anyone with children knows, their blood sugar levels as tea-time approaches lead to all sorts…

Alas, that event is no more, but I still have an internal clock that gears up to chime in late September/early October.

The reason for posting October while September is still with us is to publicise the wonderful EDINBURGH WRITERS’CLUB, which has its opening meeting on Monday 23rd September and of which I have the honour to be a Life Member. So, October first would be too late! The approach of the first club meeting is a wonderful stimulus.

The opening night speaker is Caroline Dunford, novelist. Caroline is currently chair of The Society of Authors in Scotland.

Meetings are held in the Grosvenor Hilton Hotel in Grosvenor Street at 7.30 pm. Come along around 7 on the opening night to join or pay the guest night fee and try it out.

The website is here Edinburgh Writers’ Club

In addition, being a member of the EWC entitles a person to enter their internal competitions which is useful if you’re trying to discover what genre suits you. It also entitles you to enter the competitions run by the Scottish Association of Writers. Some of their competitions, associated with the weekend school in March, are now open.

Scottish Association of Writers

So, I’ll be back soon with September’s Round Robin, but in the meantime Keep Writing (or Start, make this the year)


Diary of a Writer – September Prompt

This is one of several restored benches in the grounds and gardens of Trumland House, Isle of Rousey, Orkney.

As those of you who have read Bella’s Betrothal will know, I’m interested in and inspired by the work of the great Scottish Victorian architects. Trumland was designed by David Bryce in 1875 for Sir Frederick Traill-Burroughs. Frederick was marrying a much younger and aristocratic lady, Eliza. He wanted to impress.

So, does this little bench inspire romantic thoughts?

My work in progress is gathering momentum now the Edinburgh Festivals are behind us. I also have a few ideas garnered from that trip to Orkney. I added Stronsay to my list of Orkney islands. Truly beautiful in the summer sunshine with Meadowsweet in bloom everywhere.

How were your holidays? Did you come home enthused?