BLOG Wednesday 6 January

Happy New Year! 

CherylSawyer FarewellCavaliers HO

After a wonderful seasonal break with family, I guess it's time to do a wrap of 2015, my first complete year of writing full time. It was enhanced for me by the release of The Chase and The Code of Love by Endeavour Press, who also published The Winter Prince and the new novel in my Terror and Awe trilogy, Farewell, Cavaliers: see the book here.

I was also honoured to have my historical crime novel, Murder at Cirey, longlisted not only by the UK's Historical Novel Society for their 2015 Indie Award, but also by the American Library in Paris, where it was exhibited at the 2015 prize-giving in October last year.

And what of 2016? It heralds the publication by Endeavour Press of the final work in the Terror & Awe trilogy, The King's Shadow. I'm also completing the next Victor Constant historical mystery, Death in Champagne.

Meanwhile I'm returning as Free Literary Mentor to show you a distinctive first work by Peat Simons. For some New Year reading, take a look at the extract below and leave Peat some feedback in the Facebook column provided.

Latest Extract
The Book, the Rock and the Sword ~ Peat Simons

Jeremiah led the group of new recruits out along the southern breakwater, which jutted east towards the Tower of Flies. He had strolled along this sea wall countless times, but he stared transfixed for a moment by the tower, standing alone and resolute on its rocky outcrop, at the end of the eastern breakwater. From a gaping hole in its side, just above the water line, a gigantic sea-chain spewed into the ocean. Rusty, barnacled and befouled with seaweed, it hung in a massive arc across the harbour entrance. The links, each bigger than a man’s head, rested just below the surface of the water, creating a choppy line of little waves. The Office of the Chain had ordered it raised from the sea bed as soon as the siege began, to ensure no Mameluke boats entered the harbour unexpectedly.

The Mentor’s Critique
The Book, the Rock and the Sword

Peat, you finished your synopsis saying: ‘I'm very keen for comments on style, interest, options ... anything really.’ You’re a new writer who welcomes feedback; therefore, in displaying this extract for others to read, I hope you get some commentary on Facebook below. And for once I’ll expand my own focus and include some remarks about style. Usually I concentrate first on the shape of the narrative, but I have the feeling that you have an excellent grasp of form. This is the first novel in a trilogy aimed mainly at teenage boys and deals with adventure on a grand scale – nothing less than the formation of our world, its past and its future, which will be influenced by humanity’s response to a mysterious rock that lurks below Earth’s surface, and whose secret is revealed in an even more mysterious book.

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What can FLM do for you?
In a fresh phase of my long career as both publisher and
published novelist, I turned to writing full-time in 2014. 
And I found that I missed assessing brand-new fiction.
So I set up Free Literary Mentor as a completely free 
manuscript appraisal service to début novelists and 
their readers. During my professional life in books I’ve 
assessed, edited, published and reviewed prize-winning 
fiction and non-fiction, I’ve tutored in literature and novel 
writing, and was fiction publisher for an international company
for twelve years—yet I’ve never lost the excitement of seeing 
new work. If you’re a novelist seeking constructive critiques, 
Free Literary Mentor is geared to finding your strengths.
Readers, check out the latest extract from a new novel—
you may be peeking at a forthcoming bestseller. 
To share an opinion, comment on this page.