Okay, first things first, let’s be polite. May I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year and I hope you had a great Christmas too. So far as my Lady Wife and I are concerned, we’re still ploughing through the store of Christmas chocolate – it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it! As for writing, 2015 for me is going to begin with unashamed ‘pleas’ (right word/expression?) as I am now stepping up my search for an Agent.
So, to refresh thy memories, I’m now in my 3rd year as member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, New Writer’s Scheme (blurb just arrived to confirm in the post) and the tome I sent off to the Reader last year was deemed ready to send out to Agents, once the few amendments were made. It’s currently with 4 of these wonderful people and I did mean to send out for a few more prior to Christmas, but then I thought it wasn’t the best time at which to send it off, holidays on the way, parties etc., but now it’s time to hit the ‘Send’ button on my email and also get some ink for my printer. In the meantime, I’m going to put in the Synopsis below (resulting in a slightly longer blog post than normal.)
The Season for Love
Eighteen months after losing her husband Richard in a car crash, Chrissie Stewart still hasn’t been able to come to terms with her loss. She believes she’s responsible for his death and talks to him daily at his gravestone and in a diary she keeps. Her boss and best friend Annie and her sister Deborah have both tried to help her come to terms with very little success. Annie in particular has done everything she can to help even hiding her own battle with cancer from Chrissie, though they do fall out when Annie lets slip she knows about the diary. Chrissie forgets that Deborah was due to stay for a few days but Deborah is fortunately able to calm Chrissie down and make her see that her friend was only concerned for her. The day ends with Annie coming around and the two reaching an agreement not to mention the incident again.
After work the next day she literally runs into a man at the supermarket, whom she is certain she has seen at the cemetery. Josh Morgan is old-world polite, tall with close-cropped hair but after introductions he rushes out of the shop leaving Chrissie very flustered. Back home, she scares Deborah by rushing straight back out to Richard’s grave. After a heart to heart with her sister, Chrissie realises she needs to try to pull herself together.
Taking a few days off Deborah decides some tough-love is needed and cajoles her sister into going for a day out, but they run into Josh who has turned up at her next-door neighbour’s cottage. Taking one look, she blurts out his name and flees back into her cottage feeling terribly confused.
Chrissie finally has a conversation with Josh at the cemetery the next morning during which she finds that he used to be in much the same state as she is now over his wife. Over tea at her place, Josh gives her some advice on how he handled his grief whilst Chrissie blurts out that she felt responsible for her husband’s death and that he died never knowing he was to be a father to the child she lost in the crash. Unknown to her Debbie was listening and is now very angry with her.
After calming her sister down and giving her the full explanation Deborah’s been waiting for, Chrissie feels truly ready to face the world again. After talking to her husband’s grave, she goes to see old friends for the first time since the funeral who also run her favourite pub. After her sister has gone back to university, she goes into work and finally realises that her friend is not well. Back home, she is surprised to find that Josh has moved in next door and that he has a young daughter, Lizzy.
Over dinner that night, Chrissie finds that Annie’s husband Oscar isn’t happy about the way she has behaved towards Annie after all she did for her. The reason becomes clear when Annie reveals she is being treated for breast cancer. This makes her more determined than ever to get back to normal and this time, be there for Annie. After telling Richard, she says goodnight as usual, but doesn’t realise that she said Josh’s name instead.
She hears an almighty crash from next door in the morning and races to see what happened. Chemistry is starting to kick in and Josh kisses Chrissie on the cheeks when she suggests making breakfast for them at her place when Lizzy lets slip that they don’t have anything, but she’s in for a shock. Whilst eating, Chrissie sees that Lizzy eats her food in a very familiar way.
Shortly afterwards, she turns up at Annie’s, nominally to see if she needs anything done but is shocked to find that Annie has actually lost her hair, something she didn’t let onto over dinner. The two discuss how Annie is really doing in her battle and end up with Chrissie telling Annie about Lizzy’s eating habits and also that the little girl has the same colour and shape eyes as Richard. Later on, she asks Richard in a diary entry if he was the father but also that she can’t be too angry with him as if he was as it would have been before she knew him; but she couldn’t vouch for how Josh would feel.
Confronting Josh as to why he really wanted to live in the village, he admits that his wife had an affair and that Lizzy was the result. All he got from her before she died were where her lover lived and that his name was Richard. During a shopping trip to pick up two Christmas trees, Chrissie and Josh are in the middle of their first real kiss when they are interrupted by Richard’s parents. Explaining to Laurel and Vincent the next day who she was caught with, she also tells them about how she talked to Richard’s grave about the diary and finally, that they would have been Grandparents.
Initially it seems everyone is alright with what has happened, though Lizzy doesn’t know that Josh isn’t her natural father, something he knows he has to talk to her about, but during a get together at the pub, no-one notices that Lizzy isn’t happy about how close her father and Chrissie have become. Everything concludes over Christmas when Lizzy storms out of Chrissie’s cottage yelling that Chrissie isn’t her mum and that she hates her and her father. Chrissie and Josh eventually find her in the graveyard and Chrissie manages to convince her that she’s not trying to replace her mother. Josh then tells Chrissie he loves her and after much soul-searching, Chrissie finally admits that there’s room in her heart for him as well as Richard and the three of them come together to show that Christmas is truly, “The Season for Love”.
N.B: Please forgive this shameless piece of self-publicity and I hope you all don’t hate me too much now.
Mick will be chatting about his experience as a male author in the romantic genre. Mick is a forty-something member of the Romantic Novelists Association, New Writers Scheme. He lives in Northamptonshire and is the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination.When he’s not trying to write books, Mick has a deep-seated love of reading that he’s brought from his teens to the current day with no signs of waning. He’s also mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Mick can be followed on Twitter.
Mick can be contacted by leaving a reply to the post below, or via the Twitter link above.