Hello and happy new year!
I hope you and your families enjoyed Christmas and the new year break - I know I did. Stuart and I took the opportunity to catch up with family and friends for Christmas and enjoyed our traditional New Years Eve at the R-J household.
A new year, typically, is a time when we start afresh; we can say goodbye to last year and last year's events, (whether they were successes or not) and set new challenges for ourselves.
Some people like to call them resolutions. I'm going to get fit, I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to write that best seller ... well, you know!
How many of these goals are achieved? According to the stats on new years resolutions, not many, which is why I've decided to take action early ...
First of my goals is to do a barista course. Don't ask me why - I suppose an obsession with really good coffee and a desire to be able to create it at home on my machine is a driver. In any event, Stuart and I have already signed up to do a course that will, at the end, see us as qualified baristas!
The second is my commitment to complete the first draft of the third book in the Broughton Hall series - I'm still not allowed to disclose the title to you but you'll find out very soon. I promise.
The draft is nearly finished ... so close I can taste it and it's very exciting. I'm at about 190,000 words. It will end up being about 200,000, which will then be pared back to about 140,000. That's achieved through tightening the story which sees the characters being fully developed and where a collection of chapters and scenes are pulled together to form some semblance of a manuscript.
Finally, we will see the final installments of the Counterpoint stories released. We're at the point now where Patrick is occupied in Spain as a captain in the 32nd division under General Wellesley. Viscount Wellesley, as he is known in Patrick's time, will go on to become the Duke of Wellington, whom history will look favourably upon for his many military successes.
Counterpoint will be finished this year, and those of you who have read Torn, know what's coming. What motivates Patrick, what he feels and thinks, and why, are the big questions that Counterpoint explores.
I think it's fair to say that through the development of the stories, we've seen Patrick really grow up and mature into a fine young man. Okay if I sound like I've got a bit of a thing for him, you're probably right, but judging by some of the feedback I receive, I'm not the only one with a crush on Patrick Washburn!
There has been talk about whether Counterpoint should be published as a companion to Torn. A decision around this will be made some time this year, but in the meantime, the stories will continue to be offered free to subscribers to my site.
You may remember that prior to Christmas we ran a special offer of 50% off the E version of Torn for those wishing to download it? Well, I'm pleased to say this was very successful and quite a number of people gifted themselves or someone else with a copy.
This campaign is continuing through until 31 January so you still have time if you're looking for a great holiday read - and I don't mind saying so myself!
Finally, as always, if you'd like a free sample of Torn, go to my website and click the link to download it - you don't need to sign up for anything or leave any details - it's all there for you to just read and enjoy.
Well, that's about all the news I have to kick start the new year. It's great to be back on board and looking forward to a jam-packed 2016.
Until next week - take advantage of any time off work you still have and enjoy a little R & R - that's reading and relaxation!