Tag Archives: Romantic Fiction

To #1

Over the weekend of July 16-17-18, Sam’s Song reached the #1 position on the amazon.com private detective chart and #62 on the main amazon.com chart. With this series of articles I intend to offer background on how my book reached those heights; hopefully, this information will be of interest to followers of the series and fellow authors alike.

To start at the beginning, the writing of Sam’s Song. I have always been an avid reader and my favourite genre is the private detective novel. In particular, I admire the series created by Robert B Parker and Marcia Muller. I wrote my first play at school, aged nine, so writing has always been a part of my life. After a number of minor writing adventures, including articles and short stories, I wrote four private detective novels featuring two private detectives. I regarded those novels as my apprenticeship and they were not offered for publication. After those novels, life moved on and with my long-term partner I started a family. I continued to write during that time, mainly for my own amusement.

Then, in 2014, I decided to write another private detective novel. But who should I have as my narrator? My first draft featured a woman who was a bit flaky to say the least and the novel developed into a comedy. However, I soon discovered that my comedy was centred on one joke, and that, over the length of a novel, that joke would wear thin. So I placed my notes in a file and started again.

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Sam at #1

I knew that I had the basis for a novel, but no central character. I knew that my narrator would be female, in her early thirties, that the story would contain some humour, and that the book would have a strong psychological thread. But still no central character presented herself. Then, one day – I can picture the scene now – I was sitting sideways at my desk, scribbling notes when I looked up and paused for thought. At that moment Samantha whispered into my ear, “Why don’t you write about me?”

I don’t believe in ghosts, the supernatural or anything mystical, yet when Samantha walked into my life it was a magical experience. I believe that writing is basically a craft you fashion through hard work and dedication, yet this character was talking to me. And she told me her life story. Everything about Samantha and the main characters in Sam’s Song was done in one take. I didn’t require a list of names, locations or personality types, Sam, Alan, Sweets, etc came to me fully formed. I couldn’t believe my luck. Could writing really be that easy? Yes, and no.

The next step was to find a subject to write about. This time I did make a list, and because I love music, I settled on that. Again, the characters of Woody, Derwena and Milton came to me quickly and I wrote the first draft in no time. While reading through that draft, I elaborated each chapter until I had the story mapped out. At that stage, the chapters with Dan, Sam’s abusive ex-husband, were the most detailed, but soon the other chapters developed as well.

With the storyboard as my guide, I sat down to write Sam’s Song. What you see in the book is basically the first draft, with editing modifications and proofreading corrections. When the first draft was complete there were no major rewrites.

If I wrote Sam’s Song today, it would be totally different, probably more serious, reverential, and less fun. But from day one, I allowed Sam to tell her story in her style. I type out her words and edit them, but they are Sam’s words, Sam’s stories. Sam’s Song would be different if we wrote it today because Sam is a slightly different person, a bit older, a bit wiser and, on a good day, more secure.

So, I had a 250 page novel, which I was proud of. More importantly people close to me, people who don’t offer praise lightly, liked the book. What to do next? Seek out a publisher? Publish it myself? More about that next time.

Sam’s World

Exciting times in Sam’s world. At the moment I am editing Sins of the Father for publication later this summer, storyboarding Smoke and Mirrors and preparing to record Ripper as an audio book, with Suzan Lynn Lorraine providing the narration. I am also promoting Family Honour and the audio book version of The Big Chill. Exciting, and busy times!

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Sins of the Father will focus on Sam’s relationship with her father, a man she met for the first time when she was thirty-three years old. This book will define their relationship, dealing with events from the past and hurdles to climb in the present. Will these hurdles bring Sam and her father closer together, or force them further apart? That question provides the essence for the story.

Smoke and Mirrors will have a dramatic start – Sam finds a body in her office. As she investigates the mysterious death of this stranger, she also delves deeper into her assistant, Faye’s, background in an effort to learn the truth about Faye’s childhood trauma. As with Sins of the Father, this is a relationship story and Sam’s discoveries impact on her friendship with Faye, placing both at a crossroads.

More book news soon and, as ever, thanks for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Sins of the Father – Pre-Order

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Published later this summer, available for pre-order now at the special price of £0.99/$0.99

For the first thirty-three years of my life I had no knowledge of my father. No idea what he looked like, his name, whether he was dead or alive. Then fate brought us together. Then, a year later, he decided to hire me.

Although we had talked for a year, my father was still Gawain Morgan to me, a stranger, not my dad. Would the task of locating Frankie Quinn bring us closer together, or drive us further apart?

Frankie Quinn was a con-man, a life-long villain, a member of my father’s old gang. That’s right, my father was a villain too, with dodgy contacts, a shady past and sins he preferred to forget. The police wanted Frankie and, if arrested, he faced the prospect of spending his final years in prison. However, he had a trump card, evidence of my father’s indiscretions. Frankie was looking to cut a deal with the police, my father was looking for Frankie. They knew that one of them would spend the winter of their days in prison; which would it be?

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking towards my wedding day. Would I enjoy the happiest day of my life, or be left crying into my champagne?

Sins of the Father, ten days that defined my relationship with my dad.

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Cherime MacFarlane

Although born in New Orleans, I am proud to call myself an Alaskan. I have lived here since 1977. I have seen -40 degrees, hauled water, made bear bacon and I live in a cabin. I have used a fishwheel to catch salmon coming up the Copper River. I was my second husband’s chief mechanic’s helper and roadie. I have cut firewood on shares. I worked as a cocktail waitress during pipeline days in a small lodge on the Richardson Highway.

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My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I personally experienced hearing it from my in laws. When my husband got on the phone to Scotland, after 5 seconds I could barely understand a word.

We moved to Wasilla to get warm. It barely drops past -25 degrees here in the winter. I became a paralegal and worked for over 26 years for the same firm.

Alaska is my home. I never thought I would love it so much, I never want to leave. The beauty of Alaska is a draw I cannot resist. I love the people and the history. I have been captured by a place I came to under duress. Life does play some interesting tricks on one. My love and I were not apart more than 24 hours for 20 plus years. I never wanted to be anywhere but with him. He was a man to run the river with and was my biggest fan.

You can find me on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/pages/Cherime-MacFarlane/234948983315392

I also blog at cherimemacfarlane.wordpress.com

What the reviewers have to say about Mile 43.3 Richardson Highway

This was a truly enjoyable read. Not your typical romance, this book is set in rural Alaska in the 1970’s. Nancy is struggling and when an accident brings her and single dad Ray together, she gets an interesting romance she never expected. The writing is wonderful, the setting so vivid and magical, and it’s a plot you can really sink your teeth into. I loved the author’s writing style and found the characters to be relatable and real. I flew through the pages, eager to see how the story progressed and changed at every time. This is a must read for romance fans. I’m can’t wait to see what other books Cherime MacFarlane has to offer!

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**Note: In an attempt to retain the flavor of the times this book uses a modified Scots vernacular for ease of reading.** The story of the MacGrough clan begins in “Highland Light”.

Not pretty, Ailene knows her suitors only want the glen. She refuses them all. Her father knows she must have a husband, a laird for the small clan. The 18 Knights Templar who secretly negotiate with Robert Bruce must quietly marry into the clans loyal to him. Among the Knights is Gideon. A ward of the Master, barely a man, the warrior knows nothing else. He is as unprepared as she is ready.

Ailene has seen the young man she wants. She will have him and no other. Gideon has honored the vows of chastity. He has no knowledge of women. He and Ailene must learn together.

But Gideon owes his new King service. No matter how much he wishes to stay with his wife, he has a duty. Scotland is fighting for its life against England. At the same time, Gideon’s new home is locked in a vicious internal struggle for power. Enemies are everywhere. The clan is in danger from all sides. The small bedroom they share is the only place where the young couple can find peace.

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“Snagged” is the first of the Copper River Romances.

In some places in Alaska there are only two places to socialize, the bar and the church. Dorcas’ family chose the church. Trying to find her path, she is spending the winter in a remote cabin. The pilot of a small plane crashes on the river. Dorcas pulls James out, saving his life.

James has been working alongside his father building the business for years. When he goes to Fairbanks to scout out a second location, his father is not happy about it. Leaving a day early, his plane develops engine trouble over the Copper River, far off course. Being thrown from the aircraft into the icy water, James thinks his life is over until the girl pulls him from the river.

There is a family connection which goes back over 25 years something neither of the young people discover until her family comes to spend Christmas with her at the remote cabin. Will an old lie tear the young couple apart? Will James’ father finally listen to the truth?

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Behind the Raven Mask

Alaska 1881 Dmitri suddenly finds himself married after mistakenly entering the room of young widow Camille. Camille wakes from a laudanum dream, to finds herself married to Dmitri. Camille is thrown into an emotionally charged situation in isolated Southeast Alaska. Someone wants her dead. Could it be her new husband? Can Dmitri convince his new bride that he loves her and does not want her dead?

The Writers’ Cooperative

Introducing a new venture. A group of leading independent authors and authors who publish through small publishing houses have got together to form the Writers’ Cooperative.

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The Writers’ Cooperative represents the cream of independent publishing. The authors in the Cooperative publish their books independently or through small publishing houses simply because they choose to do so. Independent publishing is not a modern phenomenon – Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol independently so that he could retain full artistic control – and the authors featured in the Cooperative, one of whom has been compared to Dickens, are proud to follow in the great man’s footsteps.

If you are looking for a quality book, professionally written and professionally produced, the Writers’ Cooperative is for you. The Cooperative’s authors cover a wide range of subjects, from history to fantasy, from mysteries to romance and I feel sure that there is something there for everyone. So please feel free to visit their website. Hundreds of reviewers have written glowing reviews, thousands of readers have enjoyed these authors’ books. They look forward to welcoming you among their number.

“Feel as though you’re reading the same tired story over and over? Break away from the rigid formula of the big publishing houses and read a true original! These authors deliver the goods.”

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