So, what's next in my literary career? I will continue promoting Elise's Choice. Plans for the second annual Local Author Fair are in the works, and I will definitely participate. I also have three book ideas swimming in my mind's swirling sea that I'd like to plot and develop.
This post wouldn't be complete without a snippet from my sequel. I took a hiatus from writing the month of August due to the start of the new school year. My free time is spread thin, and my creativity suffers when that happens. But, things will settle into a comfortable schedule, and I WILL return to my writing. Here's a sneak-peek at a passage from the fourth chapter.
She arrived home from Widow Constance’s cottage well past dusk. Grandpapa waited until we emptied our bowls of pottage to share the news of our upcoming guest. I chewed my lip to withhold a smile as he squirmed under the vehemence of her words. Underneath his burly, grizzly bear appearance hid a cuddly cub, and nothing revealed that side of him quicker that Grandmama’s wrath.
He swallowed several times, his eyes downcast. “It’s only for a day or two until she gathers her servants.”
“Yes, but the queen.” She waved her empty bowl before his face. “Exactly what do you suggest I feed Her Majesty? Porridge?”
“Celeste can kill a critter or two for stew.” He squeezed her arm. “You know your stew’s the best in Petheralm.”
Scoffing, she wrenched her arm from his touch. “And I suppose we must offer our bed to her as well.”
“She can take my bed,” I said. “I won’t mind sleeping by the hearth or in the barn.”
Grandmama shook her head. “We can’t expect a queen to climb the ladder.”
I opened my mouth to offer my loft chamber to my grandparents, but immediately closed it. The rickety ladder wouldn’t support Grandpapa’s weight.
“You spoke without thinking.” She rubbed her brow. “But, you gave your word, so we’ll find a way to make it work.” Sighing, she gathered the empty bowls and carried them to the preparing table.
Grandpapa slapped the table with his palm. “Saints above, woman, why are you making such a ruckus? You know we have more room than most. And we’ve boarded visitors before.” He used his fingers to tick off the names. “Peddlers, soldiers, messengers—”
“Celeste, it’s late,” said Grandmama. “Go to your loft, dear.”
“But I need to help you clean up the dishes and—”
Turning her back to the preparing table, she placed one hand on her hip and crumpled a linen cloth in the other. Her blue eyes sheened with unshed tears. “Now, please.”
I planted a quick kiss on Grandpapa’s bristly cheek and then her smooth one before scurrying up the ladder. Instead of changing into my nightdress, I lay on my stomach near the opening in the floor.
Grandmama’s voice quavered with tears. “Need I remind you what happened the last time a royal visited Petheralm?”
“But, Iva, she’s the queen, the very woman who risked her life to help our young ’uns. This is our chance to repay her kindness.”
“Rugar, rest his soul, said the resemblance between her and Elise was remarkable. Oh, Torek, I don’t know if I . . .”
Something muffled Grandmama’s words, an embrace from Grandpapa most likely. I pushed myself to my feet. No one wonder she hesitated to host the queen. With me looking like my father and the queen resembling my mother, Grandmama would have two stark reminders of everything she’d lost.