About Me

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I write well researched but readable historical and contemporary novels and some non-fiction. I live in a Scottish country cottage with my artist husband. I love gardening and I also collect the fascinating antique textiles that often find their way into my fiction. This blog is about all these things and more!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ice Dancing


My novel Ice Dancing is FREE from today, 11th July, until Saturday 13th. You'll find it on Amazon Kindle, here in the UK and here in the US.  

I love the two main characters I created in this novel almost as much, I think, as they love each other!  Of everything I've written, I find myself going back to it from time to time, just because I can't quite bear to let Joe or Helen go. I already have a sequel planned, but it will probably be next year before I can write it. But I do want to spend just a little more time in their company. And like all writers, I want to know 'what happens next'  for them. Sometimes a story is complete. Sometimes there's more to be told and I think, for Joe and Helen in Ice Dancing, there is a bit more to be told. I keep 'seeing' them here and there. I could swear I saw Helen at a village dance last year, an attractive but unobtrusive woman of around forty with a very sweet smile. I followed Joe around Morrison's supermarket one day, intrigued to to find that when somebody is mildly scruffy but tall and athletic and that good looking they do indeed stand out from everyone around them, even in a crowded store! And 'what happens next' keeps nipping at me, even while I'm working on other things. Because I know what happens next and it probably isn't what you might think. 

All the same,  I'd be the first to admit that Ice Dancing is a book full of slightly unusual themes and settings. I'm not surprised it was a book that my agent told me she liked very much (she likened it to The Bridges of Madison County and I was flattered but I can understand why) but thought she would find it very hard to sell to a big traditional publisher. I think she thought it was a niche novel and maybe it is. But so far, all kinds of people have told me that they have enjoyed it and been very moved by it.

It's a novel about village life: supportive, strong and loving, but also stifling and small minded because people are connected and interlinked in ways incomers don't usually grasp for some years. It's a novel about the way in which small communities are so finely balanced that even a small change can create a major upheaval. 

It's also - of course - a sexy, unconventional and very grown up story about the lightning strike of love at first sight: ‘He came gliding into my life,' says Helen, 'And changed everything. He didn't intend for it to happen any more than I did. I think it took us both by surprise. Like a bolt of lightning. Like a puck to the head, as Joe would say.’ 

It's a novel about ice hockey. But you don't have to know anything about hockey to enjoy it. Helen knows nothing about it when she first meets Joe! She's a Scottish farmer’s wife, approaching forty, living in a rural backwater, with her only child about to fly the nest. She has almost resigned herself to the downward slide into mildly discontented middle age. But when she meets and falls in love with Joe, a Canadian ice hockey player spending a season with a local team, she realises that nothing will ever be the same for either of them again.

Hilary Ely, reviewing this novel for Vulpes Libris, writes, 'The narrative brilliantly describes the physical imperative they have to be together – not just the snatched times alone, but the magnetic pull they have towards one another when other people are around, their almost uncontrollable urge to touch one another and the risks that brings.'

Finally, this is also a novel about a shockingly dark side of an upbeat sporting world, for although Joe skates like an angel, he has his own demons to cope with, a sadder, more complicated and much more shocking past than Helen could ever imagine. 

If you're reading this on 11th, 12th or 13th July - why not give it a try?

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