The Orchid

The Orchid

Friday, 27 December 2013

Risking it All!

And it's release day for my fifth book, the WW2 novella, Risking it All! Published by The Wild Rose Press, this is an exciting tale of love and spitfire planes, based on the stories my grandfather used to tell me. Available now for £1.29. ($1.99). 

I love this book due to my hero, Billy Jenkins, who is one of my most memorable male characters. I've put an extract below from when he meets the heroine Lynne at an RAF dance. 

Extract

Lynne stood in the mess hall, squinting through the wisps of white cigarette smoke. Billy sat slumped in a chair, his dark hair stuck upwards as though he’d dragged a hand through it, his blue uniform partly unbuttoned, showing a flash of white vest. The floor trembled from a foot-tapping jive and she jerked to avoid two dancers who leapt with wild abandon. The room, with its closed windows covered in black-outs, reeked of sweat, cigarettes and bluebell perfume.
“I think your friend’s had a few,” Barbara said.
“It’s hard for them,” Lynne said. “Going up several times a day, watching their comrades plummet down,
smoke pouring from their planes. I hear them over my radio. I can’t imagine what it must be like up in the
clouds playing hide and seek with the enemy, wondering if you’ll be next.”
Barbara’s brow creased. “You’re not falling for him are you?”
Lynne laughed. “No, never a pilot and never him.”
She wasn’t that girl anymore—the fool who hung around for an invite to the flicks. Glancing at him again,
she saw his hand fumble for his bottle of beer. Raising it to his lips, he drank, staring into the room with an
expression of adult pain in the face of the boy she remembered. She looked away.
“He’s coming over,” Barbara said.
Lynne stood still until she caught a familiar musky scent.
“Dance?” Billy said.


Blurb

Beneath bomb-filled skies, Head Radio Operator Lynne Cecil takes the safety of her RAF pilots seriously. They're England's last defense against the Luftwaffe. But too many pilots die on her watch. The top brass harass her for answers, but her team is giving their all. 

Devastated by the death of his brother, Spitfire ace Billy Jenkins accepts a secret assignment to investigate the high rate of deaths. But the person who seems at fault is his old flame, Lynne. Torn between duty and love, Billy must discover if the woman he still adores is responsible for the loss of his fellow flyers. 

Lynne can't afford the distraction of falling for a fighter pilot like Billy at this dangerous time. But every flight could be Billy's last. Will she settle for one night of passion or risk losing him forever? 



http://www.amazon.co.uk/Risking-It-All-Lucy-Oliver-ebook


http://www.amazon.com/Risking-It-All-Lucy-Oliver-ebook/

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How to Write a Love Scene

On this happy Christmas Eve, I thought I'd do a writing post on that tricky area to write, the love scene. To make it clear, not all books need these scenes, not even all romance books. I'm quite partial to a 'sweet,' romance, but the fact is, heat does sell, something I learnt through experience.

I don't write 50 Shades style works or erotica, I write romance with a touch of spice, however sometimes that spice is more scotch bonnet than paprika. People often ask me how I write these scenes, and the truth is, in exactly the same way I write any other! Typed out on the keyboard, with an eye on the clock so I don't miss the school run.

It does take practice though, the first time I wrote one, I put it off for days because I didn't think I could do it. After I started though, I found it wasn't as hard as I thought.

The important things to remember are that these parts of a story are of high emotion, especially if it's the first time between the couple. They're nervous, excited and desperate for each other. The scene has to move the plot and characters forward; what are they learning about each other, and their own feelings?

You also need to ensure you keep to one person's point of view. In other words, describe the scene from either the male or female's (or M/M, F/M depending on what you're writing), view, and check back to ensure you have only put down what that particular person is feeling. Love scenes are usually done from the female POV, but can work very well from the male. In my new manuscript, Bound by a Common Enemy, the first scene between my characters was done from the man's POV, because he had the highest level of emotion due to a tragedy.

If your book has several of these scenes, it's important to make them a bit different. I vary the locations--outside can work well--or the positions. Always remembering the all important emotions. Why are they doing this? It needs to be more than just lust to bring depth to a novel. Be cautious of putting a love scene as the last chapter in the book. The final chapter is for tying up lose ends, the conflict has been resolved, so a spicy scene between your characters doesn't always serve much purpose, and has a tendency to look as though it has been put in because the writer couldn't think of a way to end the book.

When you've finished writing, it's a good idea to put the story away for a few weeks, longer if you can, before re-reading it. You see it with a fresh set of eyes, and can start re-writing. The original work might even be scrapped completely, but rest assured, this is very normal. Writing is a long and time consuming process. When you re-read your work, what do you feel? If it's nothing, then you need to look at the emotions again.

Once you're written a few of these pieces, they do flow much easier, I promise! Now I rattle them off, but I've been writing them for quite a few years now. Good luck and do comment with any queries, but since this is not an 18+ blog, please phrase them nicely!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Release of Risking it All

Delighted to have a release date for Risking it All, my WW2 novella. An exciting tale of love amongst spitfires and battlefields, it's due to be released by The Wild Rose Press on the 27th December 2013. 



In the meantime, if anyone fancies a spicy romance novella, the Victorian mystery, Summer in Rye was released from Musa publishing on Friday. Available for £1.88, it's a tale of love and dark secrets in the terrifying manor house of Rye Hall. 

Blurb

A tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future? 

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. 

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.






Friday, 13 December 2013

Spicy Historical Romance!

My dark and spicy historical romance, Summer in Rye, has been released today by Musa Publishing. One of my favourite books, it's set in the time of the first small pox vaccination scheme and is about about secrets and forgiveness. 

Blurb

A tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future? 

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. 

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.


Available from Amazon and other retailers for a great price of £1.88. (2.99).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Rye-Lucy-Oliver-ebook/

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Rye-Lucy-Oliver-ebook/


Friday, 6 December 2013

Bringing a Town to Life

I thought I'd do a writing blog today, so if anyone has any writing queries, do comment and I'll do my best to  answer them. 

An important part of writing that can get overlooked amongst the more exciting characters and emotions, is the setting. It doesn’t jump around, rage or swear, it just sits there, looking pretty. Or sometimes, not so pretty. Imagine Lord of the Rings without the powerful setting of Mount Doom, or Jane Eyre minus the brooding moors, or Jamaica Inn missing the dark, grey forbidding tavern. In these books, the setting becomes a person in its own right; influencing the plot and the characters, foreshadowing and adding atmosphere.

To create a strong sense of place, the setting must be woven into the story. But what’s the best way to do this? A single paragraph at the start of the book isn’t enough and several paragraphs will generally lose you the reader—no one wants to trawl through pages and pages of description. The trick is to slot it into the narrative. Have your characters breathing in the salty sea air, hearing the cry of gulls above them, feeling the breeze against their cheeks. Every character has five senses and all of these should be used to bring the setting alive.   

It can help to have a picture of the scene you’re describing beside you. When I was writing my medieval romance, I had a photo of a forest on my desk and glanced at it while my computer was switching on to focus my mind. Even if your characters are sitting in the lounge, then I want to know what that room looks like. Drop little hints into the narrative, rather than a big block of text, so I can picture it.

I read a book recently where a ballroom was described as, ‘stunningly beautiful.’ Well, I’ll have to take the writer’s word for that, because she never told me what it looked like. It’s lazy writing and added nothing to the book. Don’t tell me what it looks like; show me.

In my novel Winter Storms, it was the setting that appeared first; a glimpse of wet cobblestones and the sound of a breaker exploding a seawall. From that original image, the town of Haven Bay appeared, nestled at the base of giant black cliff and surrounded by a raging sea that echoed the powerful emotions of Carly and Daniel.

Below, I’ve added an extract of Daniel’s arrival at the Bay after two years away. Read it, and see if you can picture the setting in your own mind.


Extract Winter Storms 
by Lucy Oliver

The powerful sea wind hit Daniel Edwards with the force of a gybing boom. Hissing between his teeth, he yanked the wet dinghy painter and cursed as it scraped red burns across his hands. It was tempting to toss the rope away and watch the hated boat bob off into the ocean, but his teammates would never forgive him; the Olympic racing craft was worth a fortune. He never should have brought it out in this weather. Seeing the lifeboat bobbing beside a fishing trawler, waves exploding over the deck, made him realise how stupid and how lucky he’d been.

The mast had snapped when he reached the jetty, another expense he’d have to pay for. Not that he cared very much, when his sponsors discovered he’d risked the boat in a storm, they’d cancel his contract anyway. They already had what they wanted—double Olympic gold medals—now he was superfluous to requirements.

Hauling on the rope, Daniel tied it fast and straightened. Pulling down his waterproof hood, he stared across the harbour at the cluster of shops glowing with Christmas lights; it hadn’t changed much in two years. Turning to look at the black cliffs standing like gateposts either side of the harbour entrance, he recalled her scream and shuddered. Should he have come back?

But Haven Bay was where he grew up and he couldn’t stay away forever, paying expensive hotel bills for his family to visit him. And after the Olympics, his urge to visit had grown stronger, pictures flashing through his mind like an old-fashioned projector, images of places and people, of a girl he had known.

Imogen, his ex-fiancĂ©e, said she’d suspected for months that something wasn’t right. Standing in the hallway of their luxury flat, suitcases at her feet, she looked at him, not in anger, but with something akin to pity.
           “There’s a part of you I can’t reach,” she said.
Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but she held her left hand up, showing a white ring of pale skin around her suntanned finger.
“I hoped our relationship would improve after you got the Olympic golds, but it’s worse, I never know what’s going through your mind. I keep expecting to come home to find the wardrobe half-empty and a note on the table telling me you’ve gone.” Putting hands on her hips, she stared at him. “I’m not the person you’re looking for."
Daniel gazed now at the lights of Haven Bay. Had Imogen been right? A face, pushed for years into the back of his mind, was emerging, growing stronger and less blurry each day. Two years ago, Carly had broken off their relationship with five hard words.
“I do not love you,” she said.
And, refusing to beg, he left town on the next train. Only later did he wish he’d demanded an explanation, but it was too late by then, his pride wouldn’t let him return. So what if Carly didn’t want to know him? Many other girls did. Until Imogen showed him the truth: that he couldn’t love anyone else.
Slinging a rucksack over his shoulder, he stepped across the floating jetty to the sea wall. A rank odour of dead fish, salt water, and rust hit him, scents he remembered from his childhood. Boats creaked at their moorings and faint music drifted over from a pub. Brick steps led up the harbour wall, slippery with rubbery, rotting seaweed and when he reached the top, he froze, waiting for the bright flash of a camera.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Summer in Rye

Here is the cover for my new release, due out on 13th December. Summer in Rye is a Victorian romance novella set during the time of the small pox vaccination programme. 

Blurb: Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help.

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.