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Part #24 of the free story, "Adelaide's Secret," included!
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Writing Like Mad

The writing hasn't let up with the coming of spring. It's just gotten more frantic as I try to cram in writing time with gardening time. I have great plans for doubling the size of my garden this year. I've spent the last week pruning my grape and knock-out roses and overgrown camellia plus hacking back blackberries (and ongoing struggle in my part of the country). 

But the writing has happened and I still have high hopes of getting the next two books out by July. I'm also finishing part two of the Ficstitches Yarns edition of book five, Unraveling: The Boatman's Daughter. It will be released this fall. I'm very pleased with the cover of the FY edition. The detail is a crocheted hat, which was the featured project for the Spring 2017 kit, and the ceramic button was made by Candace of One of a Kind buttons. The hat is just darling and one of my favorites to wear. 

I'm also working on an updated edition of The Sojourn Stitch. I was never happy that I didn't include Niall's side of that story, so I've been working on it, which is Niall's version of events from The Secret Stitch up to and beyond his meeting with Elsie to give her Ailee's letters in The Sojourn Stitch. I am hoping to have that new edition released by the end of summer if not sooner. It will be called "Niall's Sojourn" and will be added to the book as a second story. I'm excited to share a preview of the opening of the book with you here! If you want to have a bit of fun with it, compare it to the opening chapter (not prologue) of The Sojourn Stitch. Let me know what you think. 

Also, you can find the next installment of "Adelaide's Secret" below. 

Happy reading!

C. Jane

P.S. If you crochet and you'd like to be one of the first to read the stories, Ficstitches Yarns Crochet Kit Club is currently open for preorders. You can learn more HERE.

~*~

Niall's Sojourn
by C. Jane Reid
An Excerpt


“It’s an opportunity we’ve not had before.”

Niall kept his tone calm but he wanted to shout the words in a fever pitch. The two men standing with him at the bar inside O’Ruddy’s Barn were intrigued. He’d seen them here before when he'd come to speak about his vision for the future, and each time they both came closer and closer until they finally stood next to him, hanging on his every word.

“We cannot let this chance pass by,” Niall continued. “We can have a say in this city. In this territory. In our own destinies!” His voice pitched upwards, and he struggled to bring it back under control. “They’ve made us welcome when other colonies would cast us out. They know our worth.”

“We know our worth without anyone else marking it,” said a blustery voice behind him.

Niall turned to face the man who’d spoken. Unfortunately, he’s seen this man before, too. Brogan Mullan drank heavily, spoke loudly, and stood for everything Niall was against. Brogan thought the only thing good for the Irish was the Irish and damned be anyone who said differently. 

“If you know what’s good for you, Donaghue, you’ll take your pansy words and leave.”

Niall stiffened. “You don’t want to be part of this, Brogan? Fine. But don’t think you can stand in the way of others who do.” He glanced behind him, but the two men had moved off to disappear into the crowd. 

“Think I can’t, do you?” Brogan challenged. 

A hush spread across the crowd like a wave just as the barn door opened. Niall looked at it, hoping to see the two men and stop their retreat, if possible. Instead, his gaze met that of a pretty woman standing just inside. She was thin and drawn, but he’d seen many others with the same look. Traveling across the ocean had that effect. It wasn’t the paleness that held his gaze. It was her expression, her mouth rounded in surprise, her brow raised as though startled. She looked frail and fragile and so very lost. He wanted to cross to her and take her hand in his and speak words of comfort. To tell her how wonderful this new world was and how happy she would be. 

And then Brogan slammed his tankard on the bar and the spell was broken.

(Author’s Note: This is the continuation from previous newsletters. To find the earlier installments, please CLICK HERE. The first 11 installments are available as a FREE download for Kindle and Other E-Readers.)
 

The End of One Journey, the Beginning of the Next
24th Installment of Adelaide’s Secret
By C. Jane Reid

Carissa: I have to get Elsie finished. This blasted opening scene is killing me. I've been over it four times now, and it is only just coming together.

Laurinda: Maybe run it by your editor if you are still stuck?

Carissa: If I had an editor.

Carissa: I think I have it figured out. Needed to change point of view.

And so it went. Half of December was spent plotting and researching the new story line for Elsie’s Tale. All of January and into February was for writing whenever I could—mornings before the kids were up, during the day between errands and volunteering, and evenings after the family was in bed. The house suffered from neglect and the family suffered meals of frozen and boxed food as I became more and more of a hermit to get the story finished on time. 

By the second week in February, I’d completed a story of over 54,000 words, the longest kit club book yet, but my work wasn’t finished. I dove into editing, trying to clean up the story as much as I could over the next two weeks before the deadline for proofreading. 

I sent the manuscript off at the last hour, and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. I’d done it. I finished the story in time. The kit club wasn’t going to die because I hadn’t spent enough time researching the story and getting to know the character before writing. I knew the story had some rough spots, and it hadn’t gone through as many beta readers as Ailee’s parts, only Laurinda, Adelaide, and my mom, but I was proud of the story nevertheless. I’d worked my tail off and I’d met my goal. I was ready for a long, long rest. 

Only I had another story to write. And I had just three months to develop, research, plot, write, and edit the thing. 

What had I gotten myself into? 

And then there was Adelaide, sending me weekly text messages to ask about the Guthrie research. I’d put her off as long as I’d dared. When I received the next text from her just after ordering copies of Elsie’s Tale for the Spring 2016 kit, I dreaded reading it. But I was glad I did.

Adelaide: Forgot to say how much I liked the story about Elsie when I sent you those notes back. 

Me: You did? Oh, that is a relief. She was a struggle to write. I should have a copy of the book for you in about two weeks. 

Adelaide: Bring it out when you have it. I’ll be at the farm. Lambs coming. You don’t want to miss them. And bring what you have on the Guthries.

I hesitated when I read that last. I considered my words carefully.

]Me: I haven’t gotten as far as I’d like on that research. Is it possible you could tell me a little more of what you might know about the family? Any histories or stories? 

I didn’t get a response until the next day, which meant I spent the night fretting that I’d said the wrong thing and Adelaide was angry with me. I never quite knew which way she’d go lately.

But finally, as I was waiting for my son to get out of school, my phone chimed. I used to like the chime it made, like the double ring of a buoy bell. Lately, I winced in dread. But I read the text at once. 

Adelaide: Dad didn’t speak about it to me but once. Said his family had an old grudge against Mom’s side. Said the bad blood went back generations. He didn’t know how it started. Might be a clue in the binder. 

The binder. Of course. How could I have forgotten to look there? 

The phone chimed again.

Adelaide: Dad said he believed the Guthries came from the same place as Mom’s family. 

I frowned at the phone and tapped in a response.

Me: The same place like Ailee? Ireland? Pennsylvania?

Adelaide: He never said. 

And that was the last I heard, but it was more than I’d had. I was distracted for the rest of the evening, much to the annoyance of my family who were ready for me to return to non-writing life, so I made an effort to be in the present and not turning over what I might find. 

Finally, I had a chance to pull out the binder. The house was quite, the family all in bed for the night. I opened the binder on the dining table and set my mug of Irish Breakfast tea close at hand. It was going to be a long night. 

(to be continued)

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