Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress and occasionally let good writing buddies join in the fun.
I’ve had an exciting week. My next Levenham Love Story novella Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy is with my editor getting her expert treatment, and my cover designer presented me with some amaaaaazing cover concepts.
With edits to be done, proof-reading and other bookish things to be sorted, there’s still a bit of work to do before Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy will be available for pre-order, but it’s definitely a-coming.
Because my head is still in the Levenham zone, I thought today we’d go back to the book that started these stories – Rocking Horse Hill. The other day, while I was making a few last tweaks to Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, I had to go back to Rocking Horse Hill to check a few things. Reading this book reminded me how much I love this setting, not to mention the characters. After four published works set in Levenham and another not far away, and with more to come, I’m so comfortable with this place it feels like home.
Anyway, here’s a little paragraph from Rocking Horse Hill in the heroine Emily’s point of view, describing her feelings about the volcanic crater she’s had an affinity with since childhood. Enjoy!
Her grandmother turned from the avenue to contemplate the crater. Em followed suit, grateful for the change of weather and the weak, though welcome, cast of sun. The day was sad enough without drizzle.
The ashy paths that once snaked to Rocking Horse Hill’s summit were fading, overgrown with weed or hidden by an encroaching rash of plastic-collared seedlings, planted by a local Landcare group determined to rehabilitate the crater’s eroded and denuded slopes. No matter how important their work, Em couldn’t suppress her dismay at the sight of all the trees. They spoiled the hill’s majesty; made it just another extinct volcano in a land dotted with many. Some of the best afternoons of her childhood were spent on those slopes: sliding from top to bottom on her bum, riding the hill like a giant, dirty slippery dip. Her mother exasperated by her wrecked jeans and inevitable scrapes, while her grandmother and uncle secretly encouraged the fun.
‘Ugly, aren’t they?’ said Granny B, as though reading her mind.
‘Just a bit, but they’ll go. Eventually.’
What the crater would look like then, Em didn’t know. Darker, she supposed. Perhaps a little mysterious, with the soft trees masking the hill’s true stony nature. She smiled slightly. As a child Em had cultivated all sorts of romantic ideas about the hill, and spent countless days exploring its slopes and crags, imagining secret passages that led, Narnia-like, to parallel universes of mystical animals, kings and brave knights. But there never was and never would be anything mysterious or romantic about the volcano. Thousands of years ago the earth suffered indigestion and burped up molten rock and Rocking Horse Hill was the result. Even so, her heart continued to resist logic. Em loved the hill too intensely for pragmatism, and a person’s sense of home wasn’t something that could be rationalised or calculated. That connection belonged to the soul.
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