It is safe to say that I am eagerly anticipating the launch of my debut novel, which is now only a week away. I have one definite magazine review lined up, another potential magazine review, and a book review blogger in the US waiting for it for a January review.
I also received some feedback today from the first person to read Mine to Avenge who isn't related to me, or has had no prior connection to me before offering to read all 165,000 words and write a review. She is someone I have only been getting to know since connecting on Facebook for mutual support, as authors do. All the while she has been reviewing my story, she has been busy with her own writing, preparing a short story of her own for a competition, preparing for NaNoWriMo and doing her civic duty in some capacity in her home town, but she still offered to review my story in the midst of all that busy-ness, asking nothing in return. And on top of that, she contacted me to say she has finished reading it, and she enjoyed it. It will always be special to me to know that the first 'stranger' who read my novel said that she really liked it. I'm eagerly awaiting her final review.
Hope you all enjoy the following extract from chapter 4.
As Caterina stood by the kitchen window the day before their planned departure, a movement caught her eye as she looked out into the lane. She saw Alcandor standing with his back to her, reading a piece of paper. Farther along the lane, she saw a man she didn’t recognise walking away. As she watched, Alcandor finished reading what was on the paper, and then looked in the direction of the man who was now out of her sight. Alcandor ran after him, and he, too, disappeared from view.
Caterina ran outside and looked along the lane after her husband. As she watched, Alcandor caught up with the man, grabbed him roughly by the front of his shirt and shook him vigorously. Voices were raised, but Caterina couldn’t hear what was said because they were too far away. The man was shrugging his shoulders, waving his arms and emphatically shaking his head.
Alcandor suddenly released him, and stood watching as the man turned his back, and hurried along the lane, brushing down his hair and straightening his shirt and braces as he went. Caterina hesitated, not sure whether to go to meet her husband or to wait for him where she was. She decided to wait, and saw him read the piece of paper again. He then folded it and thrust it deep in the pocket of his shabby trousers. Her thoughts were racing as she wondered how to broach this with him. His face was white and he appeared to be in shock, not noticing her at first as he came by. She slipped her arm through his as he passed, and felt his body trembling.
‘Is everything alright?’ she asked, lifting her face to his.
He hesitated a moment, then turned to face her, releasing his arm from hers and taking her by both hands. He held them tightly, looked deeply into her eyes and was about to say something, but suddenly changed his mind. He let go of her hands and walked ahead of her back into the house.
‘We need to leave as soon as we are ready,’ he said. ‘We cannot wait until tomorrow.’