The book I delivered before I went to Holland has gone through without a single revision. To say I'm stunned is to put it mildly, but to celebrate I'm posting a little taster here. Not the opening, which has a surreal comedy all its own, but the "meet"; that moment when Ellie's world collides with Ben's...
I was also going to post a picture of the totally gorgeous Ben, but Blogger is playing silly beggars again, so that will have to keep.
A deep, velvety voice penetrated the cold, swirling mists of the Yorkshire moors, jerking Ellie back into the twenty-first century.
Not an entirely bad thing.
She’d started the afternoon with the intention of giving the study a thorough bottoming. Keeping on top of the dust in the rambling old house she was “sitting” while its owner was away was not onerous, but it did require a schedule or she lost track; today it was the study’s turn. Unfortunately, her attention had been grabbed by the unexpected discovery of a top-shelf cache of gothic romances and she’d forgotten all about the dust.
But then again, it was not entirely good, either.
Being startled while perched on top of a ladder was always going be risky. On a library ladder with an inclination to take off on its tracks at the slightest provocation, it was just asking for trouble. And trouble was what Ellie got.
Losing her balance six feet above ground was bad enough, but her attempt to recover it proved disastrous as the ladder shifted sideways, taking her feet with it.
Too busy attempting to defy the laws of gravity to yell at the fool who’d caused the problem, she dropped her duster and made a desperate grab for the bookshelf with one hand -- while clinging tightly to the precious leather-bound volume she’d been reading in the other.
For a moment, as her fingertips made contact with the shelf, she thought it was going to be all right.
She quickly discovered that she’d been over-optimistic and that in lunging for the shelf – the laws of physics being what they were -- she’d only made things worse.
Her body went one way, her feet went the other.
Fingers and shelf parted company.
Happily -- or not, depending upon your point of view - the author of her misfortune took the full force of her fall.
If she’d been the wraithlike heroine of one of those top shelf romances – or indeed of her own growing pile of unpublished manuscripts -- Ellie would, at this point, have dropped tidily into his arms and the fool, having taken one look, would have fallen instantly and madly in love with her. Of course there would have to be several hundred pages of misunderstandings and confusion before he finally admitted it either to himself, or to her, men being a bit dense when it came to romance.
Since this was reality, and she was built on rather more substantial lines than the average heroine of a romance - who wasn’t? - she fell on him like the proverbial ton of bricks and they went down in a heap of tangled limbs. And Emily Bronte gave him a cuff round the ear with her leather binding for good measure.