Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

All hallows Eve @barbbradley #Halloween

I didn't schedule an author this time because of Halloween ... oh and yesterday was my birthday.

Today is All Hallows Eve, The day before All Souls Day. The day where the veil between the dead and the living is the thinnest.

Some people believe Halloween was created by the candy companies but the holiday has been around for centuries. My son just informed me it's the 666th anniversary of All Hallows Eve. I believe the candy companies figured out this would be a way to benefit and viola Halloween was born.



All Hallows Eve was originally a harvest festival known as Samhain, a Celtic holiday. Having Irish blood I consider myself Celtic. I've also been told I have druid blood in me so maybe that's why I like the holiday so much, or maybe I like it because it's so close to my birthday. When I tell people my birthday is Oct 30 I hear 'oh that's Halloween' a lot. I laugh and say 'no, I'm a prewitch' since I'm born the day before.

I do love this time of year. The crispness of the air, the changing of the leaves fills me with such joy and I need that right now. I've been watching all my favorite Halloween movies and waiting for the kids in the neighborhood to start trick-or-treating. I love their costumes and their happy faces. The best part, of course, is the left over candy. I try not to eat too much of it, but I always buy what I like so anything left over is for the family.

I think it's one of the reasons I love writing paranormal, fantasy, and SF. I always look for something in the shadows. My brain is wired to ask what if with a twist. Maybe it's my love for the holiday or my druid blood. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Welcome my latest Guest N.N. Light!

I want to welcome N. N. Light. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

My name is MRS N aka N. N. Light and I have been creating stories ever since I was little. My grandfather remembers when I was two years old, I would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with my hands on my hips. Let’s just say I was a born storyteller. I am an author, blogger, book promoter/reviewer, freelance writer and social media marketer. I'm blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is a contemporary romance novella titled, Planting the Seeds of Love. It's the story of Sally Rayton, torn between two men: Jack (her childhood friend who loves working side-by-side with her on the farm) and Trevor (her city boyfriend). She must follow her heart and choose between her life in the city with Trevor or her country life with Jack.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Oooh, great question. My favorite villain (not including my own beloved Than from my debut novel, Princess of the Light) has got to be Dracula. I love how powerful, twisted and romantic he is from the beginning. The mythology of Dracula goes back a long way so that appeals to my historical self. I love that even though he's a monster and takes advantage of weak minds, he still loves like you and me. Love conquers all, even the undead.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

My favorite character out of Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella is Jack. He's the childhood friend of Sally and has loved her ever since they were little. He was such fun to write because while he's trying to be the best friend Sally needs, his unrequited for her overtakes his logical brain. He's the sexy guy-next-door with a heart of gold every woman craves.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I normally write paranormal romance but Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella is my first foray into the contemporary romance genre. I was nervous, at first, because I've never written without paranormal elements before.

I picked contemporary romance because I was in a bit of a rut, writing-wise. I wanted to try something new and this is the result. I loved sharing Sally's story and I'm now hooked on writing contemporary romance novellas.

4.) What are you working on now?

I'm in the middle of writing book two in my Princess of the Light series. I'm also brainstorming a contemporary romance Christmas novella.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I was born. Seriously, I've been writing ever since I was little and it's a part of me, like breathing. I've had this ability to write and tell stories since I was young but it took me thirty years to figure out what to do with this gift. It's been my dream to be a published author and I can't image what else I'd rather be doing.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I free-write a lot and that is the best place I get my ideas from. I also write flash fiction using a writing prompt. In fact, the bare bones of Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella came from a flash fiction I wrote back in March 2015.

Besides that, story ideas come from people and circumstances around me. I find inspiration in the everyday and my loved ones know they're fair game for a future book. *smiles*

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I have stage fright. Put a microphone in front of me and I'm a mess. I stammer and stutter my way through. I'm much better writing a speech than performing it. Thus, writing and book promotion are my natural abilities.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I love to bake. I love trying new recipes and even creating my own. I make everything from bread to cookies to desserts.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

My writing mentor, Josh Pahigian, told me this valuable advice: when the road gets rough (whether writing or promoting), keep going. Being an author is a marathon, not a sprint.

I've had a lot of obstacles and mishaps in my writing/publishing career. There were circumstances where it seemed impossible to go on and I contemplated giving up. Then I remembered what my mentor said and I kept going.

The road is rocky and the statistics are stacked against authors to be successful. There will be times when you want to give up but those who stay the course are the ones who overcome adversity and are successful.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I would love to talk with Agatha Christie. I'm one of her biggest fans and I would love to sit down with her for a chat (with tea, of course). I'd pick her brain on creating complex characters and being a female author in a male-dominated profession. She did things her way and I love that about her.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

"Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman- Turner Overdrive
You get up every morning
From your 'larm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushin', people shovin'
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train's on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I'm self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I'll be

Taking care of business (every day)
Taking care of business (every way)
I've been taking care of business (it's all mine)
Taking care of business and working overtime
Work out

If it were easy as fishin'
You could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a second-hand guitar
Chances are you'll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of fellows
People see you having fun
Just a-lying in the sun
Tell them that you like it this way
It's the work that we avoid
And we're all self-employed
We love to work at nothing all day
And we be

Taking care of business (every day)
Taking care of business (every way)
We be been taking care of business (it's all mine)
Taking care of business and working overtime

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

I've thought about this a lot and my first thought was a penguin. But truthfully, I hate the cold and that wouldn't be much fun for me. So, I think I's like to be a lioness. I get to hunt, take care of my family and lay around in the sun. Yup, sounds like a good life to me. *grins*

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella
Author: N. N. Light
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, New Adult Romance

Blurb:
Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather's estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather's dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack's embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Excerpt:
"Jack, thank you so much for the lift into town," a woman replied behind Sally. "Let's grab some lunch before we shop."
Sally froze. She stared at Linda who shook her head. What was Jack doing with a woman in town?
"Here, let me take your coat, Emma," Jack said.
Emma? mouthed Sally to Linda.
"She's the daughter of Lonnie and Mary Beth." Linda gave Emma the look-over and scoffed. "She can't be a day over sixteen."
"What do I do?" Sally panicked. Normally she didn't care what Jack did or who he went off with. Curiosity got the better of her and she turned around.
Emma stood five foot three with curly blonde hair and innocent green eyes. Her figure was slim with curves in all the right places. Sally narrowed her eyes as Emma stood on tiptoe to kiss Jack on the cheek.
Fuming, Sally turned around. Linda chuckled.
"What?"
"You better tone down your jealousy, darlin'. You're shooting darts everywhere."
Sally gritted her teeth.
"I'm not jealous. If Jack wants school girls kissing him, what do I care?" She took a deep drink of her coffee, draining the cup. She slammed it down.
"Simmer down, here they come," whispered Linda. She waved to Jack while Sally swore under her breath.
"Well, fancy meeting you two here," Jack drawled.
Without looking up Sally retorted, "I told you I was coming into town today."
Linda kicked Sally's leg under the table. Sally plastered a smile across her face, greeting Jack and Emma.
"Yes, what a coincidence." Sally noticed Emma looping her arm in Jack's and snuggling closer.
"I was on my way into town to pick up those parts we ordered for the tractor when I ran into Emma walking by herself in the snow." Jack smiled. Emma squeezed his arm.
"He pulled over and offered me a lift into town. Isn't he a gentleman?" cooed Emma. Jack patted her hand.
Sally's chest constricted at the sight of the two of them acting all couple-y. She stared into his twinkling eyes. Oh God, is he laughing at me? Emma can't have him. He's mine. Wait what?
"So," Linda broke the strained silence. "I have to go powder my nose. Emma, would you care to join me?"
"What's that?" Emma looked confused.
Linda laughed. "It's the bathroom, dear sweet child." She stood up, untangled Emma from Jack and guided Emma away from the table.
Jack sat down.
"What's with you today?" he asked.
"Nothing." Sally cleared her throat.
He raised an eyebrow.
"Really!" A few diners turned to stare. Sally flushed with embarrassment. She didn't mean to talk so loud. She looked everywhere except in Jack's direction.
Jack observed Sally as she fidgeted, first with her coffee cup then with the silverware. His gaze unnerved her and she practically jumped out of her chair when he placed a hand over hers. Electricity flew up her arm while warmth filled her core. Butterflies raced around her stomach, only she didn't feel sick; she pulsed with life, like never before.
"Sally...look at me."
Sally shook her head.
"You'll only laugh at me."
Jack's thumb caressed her hand gently, causing her breath to hitch.
"You know I'd never laugh at you. Laugh with you, definitely, but never at you."
Sally lifted her gaze to meet Jack's loving eyes. He slid his fingers between hers, never breaking eye contact. Sparks flew between them. He moistened his lips with a flick of his tongue. Her gaze dropped to his lips.
"Please tell me. I'm begging you," he whispered.
Unable to think clearly through the fog of desire, Sally tilted her head to one side. Her skin vibrated with heat while her nerve-endings jumped at the slightest caress.
"Tell you what?" she whispered. Her throat dry, her breathing shallow, she wet her lips with her tongue. She was under a spell and everything fell away except for Jack's passionate eyes.
"Tell me what my wasted heart needs to hear." His eyes flashed. "Tell me Emma made you jealous."
Sally started to nod but Emma interrupted.
"What are you guys talking about in hushed tones? Crops and stuff?"
Jack groaned. He dropped Sally's hand as if it burned him, causing the water glasses to jostle.


Buy Links:
Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50



Newsletter:
If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of #TeamPOTL, send me an email:

info [at] princessofthelight [dot] com

You'll get a free short story and you'll get sneak peeks into what I'm working on. Plus, every Friday, you'll get a special shout-out on Twitter. :)

Author Bio: N. N. Light has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let's just say she was a born storyteller.

She was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband MR N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking. Her mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find her on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. She is a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being an author, she's also a book promoter/reviewer and social media marketer. She loves books, has ever since she was young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives her great pleasure.

She’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:




Saturday, October 17, 2015

Welcome My Latest Guest Daryl Devore!

I want to welcome Daryl Devore. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi. *waves at everyone* I’m Daryl Devore and erotic romance writer. I’m Canadian and while I love my country – our winters are just too long and too cold! I love to travel and to shop.

Tell us about your latest release.

FL.E.S.H. is an erotic billionaire story full of confusions, plot twists, humour and a lot of love.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?  

Lord Voldemort – from the Harry Potter series (in case there was somebody on the planet who didn’t know that). He so enjoyed being evil. He made being evil look fun.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

By chance, it’s Peyton Lang from FL.E.S.H. AT this moment, particularly because of one certain author, billionaires are type cast and all into BDSM. I dislike jumping on bandwagons. My billionaire came from a poorer background and worked his way to wealth, but never lost his humanity and compassion.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Erotic romance. In truth – I write romance with heat. I didn’t choose this genre. It was chosen. Confused?? I wrote a romance. Someone suggested I heat it up. I almost died of embarrassment. I can’t write that stuff. What if my mother reads it?!?!?!?  But I gave it a go and ta da, I’m an erotic romance writer with 6 books published.

4.) What are you working on now?

Well, I want to finish a book I started a couple of years ago. It’s currently called Book With No Title - because I’m horrible at titles and I can’t figure out what to call it. It’s 3/4 done. I don’t write in the summer. Canadians summers are too short to sit inside all day. So now that it’s fall, I’m getting ready to jump back in to writing – only – another story is suddenly bumbling around inside my head. It’s another billionaire story.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Nothing. I just am. Writing stories or essays in school came naturally to me. I could never understand why my friends all groaned and moaned when we were assigned one. I just sat down and wrote it. I’ve since discovered many, many people have trouble putting their thoughts onto paper.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Sometimes they are handed to me. Sexy Red Hood – a twisted fairy tale. My publisher was doing a promotion and wanted fairy tales with a twist. I picked Little Red Riding Hood. Brace for Impact, from the Crashing into Love anthology. All the stories are based around a plane crash. And the book with no title, my husband and I were driving somewhere and a song came on the radio and the next thing I knew I had my laptop on my lap and 3 chapters written. Luckily my hubby recognizes me in writing mode and he just kept driving and didn’t speak to me. It seems he stopped at a MacDonalds and got me a Diet Coke which I drank and I don’t remember any of it – I was that involved in the idea.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I am the shyest person around. Twenty people in a room and I’m the last one you’d pick to be the erotic romance writer.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’m really good at eating all the chocolate in the room.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Just send it in. You can edit the life out of your story. It is never perfect. That was quite a shock to me. I reread my first story a “hundred” times. Critique partners looked at it and so on. After it was accepted for publication, I figured that was it. But then it came back from edits. It looked like a scene from a teenage slasher movie. It dripped red. It survived edits and, obviously, was published. But even now, when I go back to get an excerpt for an interview or blog post – I still find something I wish I would have written differently.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I’d love to sit down, put my feet up and have a chat with the Queen. I’d ask her things like – have you ever had take-out pizza?  (Brits call it take-away.) Have you ever snuck out of the palace and just had a day like a regular person? Of all the famous people she’s met – who was the dorkiest?

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

It’s an oldie – Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond. Because 90% of my wardrobe is what I can wear with my blue jeans.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A cat. I could spend all day curled up in the sun then go get dinner handed to me then go curl up by the wood stove. Rough life.



Blurb
FL. E. S. H.
FLame's Electrifying Sexy Heat

When secrets conflict with dreams, love explodes.

After a mistake by a surgeon’s scalpel shattered Fuchsia Quinn's dance career, she picked up the pieces of her life and moved forward. As the owner of a small, struggling dance school in a depressed neighborhood she supplements her income with a late night job at a dive bar. Haunted by the fear of humiliation, if her secret is revealed, her life was under control until the night he walked into the bar.

Peyton Lang, having run from a bad neighborhood, lives the lifestyle of a successful billionaire. Frustrated that his current multi-million dollar project is stalled, Peyton drops in to LEATHER-ICIOUS for a simple drink and late night entertainment. What he saw was a beautiful redhead. What he found was he wanted her.

After a lusty night with a hot pole dancer, Peyton and Fuchsia's worlds are about to collide.

Excerpt:
As they wandered along the trail, Fuchsia chatted about her childhood, her loving parents, helping milk the cows and deliver the calves. In the shadows of the forest, her face glowed with contentment as she relived her youth. Peyton listened, absorbing the knowledge. One side of him wondered how to use this information to get her to agree to his plan. The other side wondered how to get her to love him. Their kiss had been hot. At that moment, he could have taken her. She was willing. Damn dog. Now, she'd changed to a friend, chatting about her life.

But whatever this was between them, it was different. She wasn't the same as the women he met at dinners. Their forced interest and bored demeanors were pitiful attempts at snagging his attention. Fuchsia simply talked, and he willingly listened.

Spartacus stopped and whimpered. He lifted his nose. Fuchsia griped Peyton's arm. Pride flowed through him. She wanted his protection. He stood still and listened. He heard nothing.

"Stay here." He looked at the dog. "Spartacus, lie down. Stay." Fuchsia sat on a nearby log and tapped her thigh. The dog glanced at Peyton. "Okay." Spartacus raced over and lay against Fuchsia's leg, pinning it to the fallen tree.

Peyton dropped the backpack and dug out the air horn. "Press this. It's gonna be loud. But it'll scare anything off. I'm going that way. Gonna check out what scent he caught."

Fuchsia gripped his sleeve. Her eyes were wide. Fear danced in her gaze.

He patted her hand. "It's okay. I'm not going far, and look at him. He caught a scent, but he's not whimpering. So he's not scared."

Peyton moved off the path and headed in the direction of the cliff's edge. He knew it ran parallel to the path, but he wasn't sure how far away it was. He'd give it no more than five minutes. He wasn't leaving her alone long enough for her to get into trouble. And after listening to her escapades as a child, he knew she attracted trouble like honey drew a bear. He glanced left and right, maybe that wasn't a good analogy for the wilds of Alaska.

The cliff's edge appeared sooner than he expected. He crouched low and peered over it, looking into the ravine. At the bottom he saw a mother black bear and her two small cubs. No wonder Spartacus whimpered. He hurried back to Fuchsia. When he was close enough for her to hear, he shouted, "Come here." He waved, indicating she should join him. She stood, picked up the backpack and walked toward him. Spartacus stayed beside her.

"Keep your voice low." He reached into the pack and pulled out a leash, which he clipped to Spartacus's collar. "When I say get low, crouch down. I've got something pretty cool to show you." He held her hand and led the way back to the cliff. "Okay down. Look. Over there."

Fuchsia knelt next to him. "Oh my God. Is that a bear?"

"Black bear. But it gets better. Wait for it."

The two cubs waddled around their mother and sniffed at something on the ground. Fuchsia squealed. "Babies."

"Cubs."

"Baby cubs."

Close enough.

Buy Links:






Bio:

Daryl Devore lives in an in old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road, or snow shoe across the back acres and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flew high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.





Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation - The Romance Novel Pt 10 Editing Chapters

I know I'm a day late but at least I didn't forget like I did last week...

Okay so we've been working off of a handout by Janice Bennett on Writing the Popular Novel and are now working on the editing phase of your manuscript. This week we're dealing with Chapters.

1.) Do you have your scenes arranged properly? Do they grow action, tension and emotion?

2.) Have you started each chapter with something powerful to draw the reader in? This can be an emotion or action. Have you ended you chapter with a strong hook or question that makes your reader want to continue to the next chapter?

3.) Does each chapter move both the plot and the premise?

4.) Did you stick in anything not really needed like descriptive elements like flashbacks or long boring and unnecessary narrative or introspection? (this is almost verbatim)

Next week - resolution....

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Welcome my newest Guest - Adam Mann!



I want to welcome Adam Mann.  First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I live on the outskirts of a small city in a mountainous area, which I prefer to a tropical island.  The sand and the sea look good, but are hot and sticky, unless you have the services of a six star hotel!  The air up here is cooler and cleaner, but it does get hot in the summer months.

Tell us about your latest release.

I’ve been very lucky to have two novels released this month:

BODY HEAT from Phaze Books - Jennifer and Charles team up to start their own 21 day wilderness program, without clothes, food or drink, or a TV sponsored back-up team.  They choose a remote area, and as complete strangers they only meet a day before the adventure starts! Watch the sparks begin to fly, not from the fires they light, but from the passion that somehow ignites between them.

and

Claudia and the Lords of Peterborough from Global Publications Group - Two brothers, heirs to an Earl, meet the attractive and passionate Claudia.  She enters a childless marriage with the elder brother, who dies in a flying accident, but then the younger brother come back from Central Africa to claim the title on the death of his father, the future begins to look brighter!

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Fagin from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens – his sense of humour and his villainy.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

All my heroes I love especially the older ones.  Especially Colin from The Road to Beira, coming from Phaze Books on 13 OCT 2015.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Romance – most of the time simple love stories.

4.) What are you working on now?

When I do some research for novels I sometimes come across odd stories.  In 1862 a novel was written called Lady Audley’s Secret, and accidental Bigamy, and that got me thinking…

5.) What got you to start writing?

I have written four historical novels, which are devoid of love and passion, so I began to think about my own life – four wives, seven children, and four grandchildren, and I realized that perhaps I knew a thing or two about romance.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

The latest is from the series of TV programs about survival, and some of the contestants who haven’t a clue what they are doing.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I used to be a Rugby Referee, and actually refereed a qualifying match for the Rugby World Cup, but not recently.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Yes, I love gardening, especially flowers that have a perfume.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Do your research thoroughly.  Some authors write about places or journeys they’ve never been to which is obvious to readers who have been there or live there.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Agatha Christie – about her plots.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

I love all the romantic light operas – any of those, especially the arias sung by a soprano.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A horse, preferably an Arab stallion!





BODY HEAT – excerpt:

For the rest of that week, she followed her quest for messages, and most of them were inconsequential except for the man in South Africa.
She saw a message from him:
Found that program on Discovery—agree cooperation between man and woman essential for their existence.
To this day, she never knew why she replied to him as she did:
Have you ever thought of trying such a course yourself? I would if you would!
The reply came back to her a day later:
We won’t be able to get on a TV program, but we could do it ourselves. Where would you like to go?
She thought about it, and even emailed her mother to ask where she came from before she met her father in Bangkok. She was careful not to mention the TV programs she had seen.
Her mother’s email surprised her:
I was born in a village near the Thai/Laos border. The nearest town was called Nan. If you decide to go there I can give you some directions to my sister’s house which I can remember from my childhood.
Her reply to Charles on Twitter was:
My mother was born near the Thai/Laos border. Her family could give us local basic support.
She read her message again after she had sent it.
“US!” she read, but she laughed aloud and the girl on duty in the Games Room looked up at her.
Two days later, Charles sent her another message:
Please look at your email for messages from me, Charles.
She rushed to look at the Google mail account, and there was a message from Charles!
Hi Jennifer. Your Twitter messages amused me, but then I began to think that you might be right, it would be very interesting to try an adventure course together, but first we need to establish some basic facts.
What is your full name, age and position? Your CV would help.
I’ve sent you my full details at the end of this message.
You would need to take a month’s leave from your work. Can you do that?
If we can agree I can fly to Bangkok, and then onto Nan.
How would you get to Nan, we really shouldn’t travel together.
How far past Nan would we have to travel, and how?
A short CV from Charles followed, which she read carefully.
First of all, she wrote to her mother:
I want to go to the area beyond Nan on a walking holiday, so could you please give me the names of anyone you know that I might be able to contact, and any addresses, please Mum.
Then, in her office, she opened the file on her office computer with her CV, and copied it on to her USB, which she put into her handbag.
Her mother replied, giving details of her younger sister who still lived there. There was only a postal address, but no telephone number, so Jennifer had to assume there was not one.
At the Games Room, she updated and modified her CV, deleting all the information about her work history. She copied everything on to an email that she sent to Charles. As an afterthought, she also copied her mother’s email to Charles.
The reply from Charles startled her:
Jennifer, could you please arrange to take four weeks off, preferably next month, and tell me the dates so that I can arrange to travel.
I’ll fly to Bangkok, but I don’t think that we should meet there. Make your own way to Nan, and I’ll suppose we’ll have to meet there and travel to the site together.
I’ll hire a small car in Nan so that we can leave our clothes and possessions in it until the end of the twenty-one days, unless you have a better suggestion.
That means we’ll organize our own drop point and our pick up point ourselves, again your comments would be most welcome.
We have to cheat a bit, as we need some maps.
Please tell me what you think we should each take.

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