Writing Update - July
So, June and the beginning of July didn't go as planned. LOL
Despite my great hopes of a return to productivity, the recovery time from the bout of family sickness has been prolonged for me. Heap on stress from some areas that couldn't be helped, and I am dragging on the writing front.
The good news is God is still good. I am slowly improving and health-wise should be bouncing back soon. Cianna's Fortune, my Cinderella-inspired novella coming in October, and The Elf King's Sacrifice, the Elisa Rae novella coming in September are both on schedule for pre-publishing tasks and should be ready on time.
The bad news is that my publishing timeline might be affected in the future. At this point, I am still optimistic that I will get the minimum of the necessary writing done this month. Lord willing, I will have a finished Once Upon a Duchy novel (Cecily's Quest) and a few Elisa Rae novellas finished by the end of August or early September, but we shall see.
Regardless, I shall be plugging away and trying to keep you all updated. 😊
In the meantime, here is a bit of unedited Cecily and Hugo for you to enjoy:
A great shout from the direction of the stable yard woke my senses to full alert. An agitated conversation followed. Voices grew louder with each exchange. Nero leaped from my bed with a great creaking of the ropes supporting the mattress and followed me with a bark. He bolted past me at the top of the stairwell and raced down the stairs. I tore down the risers after him, catching the banister at each turning and swinging myself around to face the next flight.
“Woah!” I collided with the very solid form of the annoying potter. He caught me easily about the shoulders and swung me to a gentle stop on my feet. “Where are you running off to?”
I gasped for air for a second. “Someone shouted.” My lungs burned as I struggled to breathe. “Fight in the stable yard.”
“All is well. Alan shouted at a boy who thought he and Liam were easy pickings. The lad caught him by surprise.”
“A thief?” I coughed before trying to see past him and through the open door into the yard. “What does he look like?” But the potter didn’t release me, instead, his large hands tightened ever so slightly around my shoulders as he studied my features.
“Breathe, Cecily, all is well.”
I lifted my chin in preparation for rebuking him for touching me, only to encounter his concerned expression. His steady grey-blue eyes studied my features as though searching for something. Struck speechless by the intensity of his expression, I couldn’t think for a moment.
“You look exhausted. You should go back to bed.”
“I can’t.” I closed my eyes, blocking out his gentle concern. “The chickens are hungry, and I have to collect eggs. A fire must be laid and lit in the common room. Then breakfast needs serving.”
“Let me help.” He released my shoulders. “I can gather the wood and lay the fire for you.” Then before I could protest his assumption that I would accept his help, he strode out through the door. A second later, Beatrice burst through, arms wrapped around a huge basket full of rolls and bread.
“What is wrong with the potter?” she asked breathlessly. “He looked as though he intended to clobber someone.”
“I don’t know.” I shrugged as I eyed the overflowing basket. “Was your father trying to get rid of stale bread?”
She grimaced. “No, more like he can barely keep up. Hodge keeps sending his grunts over to help themselves to his wares at midday without so much as a flan in compensation. I told him you might need a large order today because of your many guests, and he threw in all he could fit.”
And then some by the looks of it. “Is Hodge at least giving a discount on the tithe?” I pushed the kitchen door open for her as she negotiated the corner turn with her awkward burden.
Beatrice snorted. “Not a flan. He demanded a tenth and tax on the supposed underpayment on last month’s tithe. Father doesn’t know how he is going to keep up with the increase.” She entered the kitchen with a cheery greeting to Tuck. I departed for the stable yard and the chickens.