Hi! I’m looking for one or two beta readers for my WIP, The Old Mill. I have just finished the third draft and am pausing for feedback before I start the copy editing; you know, the fixing typos, wrong words, etc., to make it publish ready phase. Why am I looking for beta readers before cleaning up the manuscript? Just in case some of the feedback warrants a rewrite of entire sections. I want all of the big changes (larger than correcting words and sentences) completed before I worry about those little details.
A little history
I posted The Old Mill as a serial story back in 2017. It is possible you may have read that very rough draft already! Early last year I began a complete rewrite. The basic story is the same, but I added detail and filled out the characters. I also changed POV, which is why it had to be a rewrite. Continue reading
Photo by Sue Vincet
Mr. Stevens said his goodbyes and left me alone in the ancient manor house. This would be my first night in my ancestral home, and, unfortunately, I’d be spending it alone since Margret was stuck in New York for at least another week.
Father had told me of the existence of the manor, but I had never really thought of it as a real place or ever dreamed I would be the last of my breed and so inherit the place.
Actually, for the most part, Father, didn’t mention his old homeland, but I had once asked him about the manor, being a bit more persistent than usual. He only said that it was owned by Hugh, as was any occupant. He had hated his visits to the ancient house and called his uncle cruel. “Though related by blood, he was no relation to me or my parents.”
I also discovered Father had spent a lot of time there as a child, though he grew up in in distant London. Beyond that cryptic remark about Hugh, he said absolutely nothing about the visits. He had moved to America as a young man and never returned. He hinted that the Alntic Ocean was barely big enough to separate him from his uncle.
Sso this was not only my first night in the old castle, but my first trip over the pond. Continue reading
The following is a clip from my WIP, The Old Mill – this is NOT a finished draft!
They had been planning the adventure for months. It was a rite of passage in Avebury, one that had been going on for decades, though every generation thought it was original.
The Five Inseparables were going to visit the Goode Mansion after dark.
Amy Lancing was able to borrow her parents’ car for the evening. Although the quiet one of the group, she reveled in the control that being the driver gave her. And this wasn’t just any night with the car. It was special and she would do everything in her power to make sure their adventure was perfect.
The traffic up the hill from Avebury was light. Great. Amy took the left onto Miller Road, as she’d practiced a dozen times. She slowed down as she passed the driveway into the mansion and began to scan the woods on the left. Just down a small incline and across a bridge and perhaps another hundred yards there was a turn off into the woods. It was supposed to be secret, but even in her headlights she could see that were many tire prints in and out. Right, the worst kept secret in the county.
Amy turned and pulled the car into the woods as far as she dared. She turned off the lights and shut off the engine.
The five 17-year-old girls piled out of the car, all giggles and trying to “shush” each other.
Amy looked at the other four: Jess, Lauren, Stacy and Kath. She shook her head. They had no clue and would be lost without her. Continue reading
To exhume the ancient crypt
But we are too late
The slab is already moved
The dead has unearthed himself
Did we delve too deep
Awaken that which should sleep
Release the terror?
We run from the open tomb
But once more we are too late
The crunch of a twig
Silver shadow from the moon
He is following
A hand grabs me from behind
Sharp nails gouge into my flesh
Leave the dead alone
Sleeping under the cold ground
It is a lesson I learned
Only when it was too late
This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. She gives us two key words, but we must use synonyms. This week’s words were Dig and Grave. (I so much wanted to find a way to say “Dig this” or “Do you dig” ;) ). I did a tanka these week. OK, I wrote a story made from four connected tankas this week :)
On Wednesday I found a little free time and decided to take a walk. I walk a lot, so nothing strange yet. I decided to walk to a place called “Bell’s Neck” in Harwich. It was maybe a 10 minute walk, so I had time to go there and perhaps even go into the woods a bit.
As I passed the Swan Pond Cemetery, something caught me eye. I don’t know if it was that it looked more overgrown than I’ve seen it, that it is getting close to Halloween, or, perhaps, just that I noticed some of the stones looked ancient. I usually don’t walk in cemeteries unless I have a reason, but I decided to go in.
I glanced at some of the stones to try to find the oldest. Most were from the 1850s to the 1880s. A few newer, into the early 20th century. After about 1930 there was a gap until 2015. Continue reading
Photo by Sue Vincent
William Smith opened the door a crack, letting the howling wind sweep through the small room carrying a drift of snow with it.
Only the storm answered with its continued roar, sometimes louder, sometimes softer.
William slammed the door shut. Snow settled around the room.
William started at the door a moment, shaking his head
There had been a knock and a voice calling his name. He heard it. It was real. He knew it wasn’t his imagination. Continue reading
Photo by Sue Vincent
“Which is the real world, the one in front of me or the one reflected in the mirror of the pool?”
Dan laughed at his bit of silliness.
It had all been getting to him, work, family, everything. Reality. His reality. He needed some time alone, far from his work and family, far from his reality. Time to be alone with himself. What is more important than self? It wasn’t a hard decision: he took a long weekend to unwind in the woods. It would be perfect.
But it wasn’t going as well as planned. Despite being away from it all, so far all he had done is worry, worry and more worry. The real world just wouldn’t leave him in peace. He would see a flower and think of bills unpaid, work not finished, arguments unresolved. Continue reading
“Where did you say we were going?” Ellie asked.
Justin shot her a quick glance and mischievous grin before putting his eyes back on the road.
“I didn’t.” he said.
He drove on, still grinning, He could see Ellie out of the corner of his eye and could tell she was grinning too.
“We’ve just been on the road so long, I’m getting a bit tight.”
She stretched in a way that Justin felt was to accentuate her curves more than to relieve any muscular tension. In fact, in ways it increased his tension.
He risked taking his attention off of the narrow back road to take in that nice form of hers.
Elisabeth was quite a bit older, but he wasn’t sure how old. His guess was in her mid-40s, but it might have been up or down by as much as a decade. He had heard that women that age liked guys in their mid-20s, particularly guys like him who spent a lot of time at the gym: fit muscular men in their physical prime. Actually, she could be mid-60s for all he cared, because she was pretty hot. He had been itching to undress her from the moment he first saw her. Continue reading
Abigail Bradford (1725 – 1827) was the youngest child of the great patriarch of the Hawkins clan, and some would say the founder of its cult, Miles Hawkins.
After her father passed away in 1745, the young Abigail found herself in the strange position as the leader of the extended family. Her oldest sibling, the beloved yet increasingly infuriating sister Mary, and her husband Gustav Halley, had started a feud with her brother, Ebenezer, over the inheritance of Miles’ vast estate. The Halley’s argued that society would not accept the children of Ebenezer and Phebe, called Faith, as the head of an important family. The problem was that Phebe was a former slave descended from African parents. People would only see their children as dark skinned ex-slaves. Or so the Halley’s said.
The Halley’s did win the lawsuit and the inheritance, but always assumed that the Hawkins Branch were plotting to bring them down out of vengeance. Although this was not true, the Hawkins did not have the resolve to try to heal all of the wounds in the extended family. Continue reading
It’s been a slow beginning….
It’s actually been slower than it was for The Fireborn which was slower than Seasons of Imagination.
I have received a little positive feedback from one reader on a Facebook post “OMG-Can’t put this book down great to read during our thunder storms!”
I also went to the library in my town and talked to the head librarian. I gave her copies of all three books. They should be put on display in the near future, starting with the “New Arrival” shelf before going to the “Local Authors” shelf. So more people should see it. She also discussed a book talk, which I will most likely do at some point. Continue reading