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  1. 1where hope dares front cover smallIt's been a while since I've had time to write in the blog. Publishing was within sight: a proof print copy of Where Hope Dares landed on my doormat and I was ready for the final read-through. The bombshell came when a reader kindly doing an ARC read for review brought up concerns. There were things he didn't understand that I thought I'd explained. Was it him or me? I sent a copy to another reader to confirm or dispel the problem. The second reader agreed with some of the first readers concerns but also cam eup with suggestions for a new way forward. I couldn't see how I could implement the necessary changes in the time I had before release date: the cord was well and truly round my baby's neck.

    Fortunately, unlike childbirth, I could delay the birth of the novel until I'd given it much-needed thought. New ideas jostled for attention, but I couldn't see how to move forward with them. Finally, one idea began to form and slowly gelled. I've begun the research necessary to make the idea work and every question I answer raises more. Where does Colchicum Alpinicus grow? What is the Catholic belief in the Second Coming? How do you cross the High Atlas Mountains? How did the inhabitant of Los Angeles survive after the flooding? These questions have no apparent connection, yet all are relevent to my tale in some way. I'm becoming quite excited about the story's new direction and, although it may well be the end of 2015 before it's ready for publication, I'd like to share the possible new beginning. It will change as edits continue to hone and improve it, but this a flavour of what's to come.

     

    Knowledge is power, and he who has power over knowledge has power over power – Anon

     

    Chapter One

     

    Abe put a hand on his mule’s neck: the beast threw up his head, the white of his eye bright, a sure sign something had spooked him. ‘Hold up, Moses. Quiet, boy.’ Moses’ nostrils expanded and quivered, blowing soft, nervous breath on his master’s wrist: his long ears went back, flat to his mane. ‘Yes, I smell it too.’ He hauled the reluctant mule forward, and his own nostrils twitched in sympathy; a damp smell of burning clung to the air.

    The track wound along the bottom of the narrow gorge, among the sparse trees at the river’s edge. Where were the people, the children?


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