Flash fiction

Through the haze of sleep I picked up on various sounds; of bickering birds in nearby bushes, a high pitched mower buzzing grass in the distance. I felt the balmy breeze tease my skin as it drifted through the open window. All the while a clock ticked; a feeble metronome informing me of the passing time but I was locked in my own world, floating between the layers of consciousness and dreams. With my heart beating a steady rhythm in my chest I opened my eyes slowly to splintered sunlight as it passed through the wavering leaves of a tall tree. Beyond it stretched a cerulean sky. Birds continued to sing and my heart continued to beat. I closed my eyes once more, dreaming of the place I’d left behind.

 

Life!

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog. I actually can’t quite believe HOW long. Somehow, it’s now May 2017. How did we get here?! The days have absolutely flown by. What have I been doing, generally? (Except for working…)

Guarded: The Sacred Path

In December 2016 (?!) I finished my third novel. I’ve since completed an edit of the manuscript and am currently working through the second revision when I get chance. It is a slow but vital process. I’m hoping to have a final draft by the end of August. What I do with it then, I’m not sure. I certainly won’t let it go to waste.

My plan also is to promote Away with the Faeries more, seeing as these past few months – at least – it’s pretty much fallen by the wayside.

University

I never thought I’d see the day where I type/say the words “I’m going to uni!”. Up until last year it was never on life’s agenda for me. Around October time however I thought really hard about what I wanted out of life, and where did I see myself in say, three, or five years time? I had no plan which worried me. That’s not to say everyone needs a plan, but for me, having no structure left me feeling unfulfilled and demotivated. I definitely believe that quarter life crises exist! And so I realised my only option was education. I needed to make a change. I’ve been working in the field of optics for over five years. It is very interesting and I enjoy it, but I don’t see it as a career. I want to dedicate my time to studying in order to hone my craft, therefore I accepted an offer from the University of Winchester to study a BAHons in Creative Writing. It’ll be a big change, but I’m excited and I’m ready. I will miss Bristol and my family and friends, but it isn’t exactly the other side of the world. Everything will work out. See you in September Winchester!

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Nashville:

Last week I returned to my favourite place on the planet, Nashville Tennessee. It was my seventh trip there… it truly is my second home! I went with Melissa and her sister Hannah, although I could only make five days there out of the ten we usually go for. Nonetheless I had, as per usual, the time of my life. It was so great to see my friends again. We spent a lot of time downtown of course, watching the bands. We explored East Nashville, visited Madame Tussaud’s at the mall. On two occasions me and Melissa were lucky enough to sing onstage with some of our friends which was an incredible experience.

The people, the music, the vibe, the food (the tater tots…) It’s just a wonderful place to be. The city is really booming at the moment.

I truly feel like I belong there, I can’t really explain it. I will never give on the dream of living there, or at least being able to visit the city whenever I’m able to. (As I am trying to be realistic.) But hey. I love you, Nashville. These are the days we will remember…

Guarded

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared any of my work on my wordpress. My new novel, Guarded: The Sacred Path, is going well. It’s slow progress but getting I’m there, word by word. I’m hoping I’ll have a first draft ready to edit around May time.

For now, here’s a little excerpt. Please feel free to like, comment, tell me what you think. It would mean a great deal. I know I’m taking a part from a two thirds into the story, but when sharing, one must be selective…

They made it through security.

            ‘Wait here a moment,’ said Ro, touching Nina’s shoulder. ‘Nicholas, if you get some bottles of water, I’m just going to the help desk to confirm our hire car is available.’

            Nina stared at him in disbelief. Was there no end to his efficiency? ‘How..?’

            He strode off, leaving her unanswered question hanging in the air.

            Too overwhelmed to make a decision on anything, Nina allowed herself to be directed by her father, who had an arm around her shoulders. It was a comfort. She caught sight of a digital clock imbedded into a wall, and 6:38pm flashed back at her in neon green. It took a while for Nina to realise there was someone else walking with them, alongside Ro.

            Outside, the evening air was warm and balmy, the sky a deep indigo sequined with stars. The man, who wore a pale shirt with black trousers, led them along a floodlit path towards a car park which few cars occupied.

            There was some discussion between Ro and their guide, and they paused in front of an open top 4×4. Nina was quick to work out this would be their ticket to the Valley of the Kings.

            The man shook Ro’s hand and dropped him the keys. ‘This will get you there fast,’ his said in a voice thick with Arabic intonation. ‘It must be returned by 6.00pm tomorrow evening.’

            ‘Understood,’ said Ro. ‘Thank you.’

*

The roads were smooth and wide, and lined with streetlights and palm trees alternately. Ro drove at a steady speed. With the top down, the humid wind threw itself around Nina, whipping strands of hair about her face, but it had the effect of waking her up and she leaned against the door, revelling in the realisation that she was in Egypt. So far from the bustling, polluted streets of London. So far away from her job. So far away from her mother.

            She held up her arms, feeling the wind through her fingers. The air smelt like beach sand. She lifted her face to the sky, gazing at the assembly of twinkling stars. In this moment she didn’t want to think about the terrors that awaited her, but simply of the fact she was one person in seven billion, and that the world was such a huge place and everyone has their time. This was her time and it wasn’t nearly over. It was just beginning.

Away with the Faeries,

…has been out for a couple of months now, I can hardly believe it.

I’m still working on the first draft of Guarded, a separate project, which I hope to have finished around Spring time. (Exciting/stressful times are ahead…)

I’m still trying to figure out ways to promote my book, after the initial first few weeks of sales, it gradually died down and now I’m thinking – how can I boost it back up again?

I guess I could start by promoting it on my WordPress blog!

‘Away with the Faeries’ is my debut novel, a YA fantasy adventure, and is available to buy on Amazon.co.uk., .com., and .eu. The link to the U.K. site is here:

Away with the Faeries by Madeleine Cook

An Amazon buyer’s review of AwtF:,

“I found Away with The Faeries to be a very readable and enjoyable adventure. Well written, with strong characters and gripping moments mingled with some well-placed humour! Very good”

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An inspiring image by Julie Fain

 

 

 

I’m officially self published!

Finally, my debut novel “Away with the Faeries” is available on Amazon!

To think, when I first sketched out the picture which later inspired me to write a story, I never planned on it growing, expanding, becoming an actual book. But there you have it. Eight years later (on and off), it is complete! And it feels amazing.

Priced at £6.99/$10.99/7.99euro >>> Away with the Faeries by Madeleine Cook Please feel free to check it out.