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New Book Release: The Wounds of Time by S.L. Russell

Hooray! Hurrah! The 21st March, 2022 sees the eagerly awaited launch of author S.L.Russell’s latest contemporary novel The Wounds of Time and, for me, this is her best novel to date. 

 Set in the fictional town of Brant, and maintaining the link with characters in each of the two preceding Brant novels – The Healing Knife and The Thorn of TruthThe Wounds of Time can be read as part of the series or as a stand-alone book. 

The protagonist in this case is Janet, a strong-minded, independent woman of middling years, who has clawed her way out of a challenging childhood to become the highly respected Senior Clerk of Chambers. Top of her game and queen of her small realm, at first glance Janet is a prickly character and not someone that ticks the usual protagonist boxes. She can be abrasive, standoffish, even a touch arrogant. She doesn’t suffer fools and is quite likely to tell them as much. But beneath the hard shell is a woman with whom many readers can identify and therein lies just one aspect of S.L. Russell’s skill as a writer. The author deftly conjures a complex, believable character who faces difficult circumstances but does not neatly overcome them. Instead, Janet does what we all do: reacts imperfectly to changing circumstances, makes wrong decisions (albeit with good intentions), and alienates those closest to her as she builds a shield wall to protect herself and others. Simply put, Janet is a recognisable, multi-coloured individual, not bleached of her imperfections for the sake of narrative, but someone we grow to know and care about as we make the journey with her. 

And while S.L. Russell’s books have a benign disposition (there is nothing offensive in terms of language or content) they are neither cosy nor sentimental. Each deals with life situations with a clear-sighted reality as down to earth and compassionate as the author herself.  Sue Russell is the champion of real and The Wounds of Time is likely to provoke a degree of gentle self-reflection.  

Tightly plotted and with a building tension, The Wounds of Time is written in a concise style with an exquisite use of language, leaving a lingering impression – a resonance akin to eating a fine, dark chocolate – delighting the senses and satisfying in its depth. 

The Wounds of Time is available to order: https://amzn.to/3JqoJIk

Books in the Brant series:

 

 

 

 

 

Proof Is In The Reading: proofreading the new novel

I’ve spent the last few weeks holed up and proofreading. This is the last stage of preparing a novel for publication. It went through structural and copy edits and then to a professional proofreader and to me. This is my last opportunity to spot errors and make minor amendments. There are always some no matter how thoroughly I’ve editied it before. Sure enough I spotted an inadvertent  name blip, winced at the number of times I used ‘winced’, and noted armorial colours that mysteriously changed. That’s what proofreading is all about and I am thankful for the absolute professionalism of the team handling the production of my book.

Proofs for Wheel of Fortune are back with the editor. It’s now time for a thorough purge of my study before resuming editing the second book, Degrees of Affinity. How does so much detritus build up when I’m not looking?

To be fair this mountain was largely the result of boxes being deposited in my room. Accumulated over thirty years, this ‘stuff’ had to be sifted and sorted, trashed and filed one box at a time.

I’ve completed that task. Now I have a lifetime of books to go through, organise and get onto the shelves. First off are the numerous books on a variety of historical topics associated with research for The Tarnished Crown trilogy. Next come those collected in childhood – well-thumbed and with annotations and observations scrawled in a childish hand. The history books from  university are another load. The comments have matured, become somewhat pithy at times, and reflect a more searching mind. The stacks that have accumlated since are well-read but pristine. Notes are now made on slips of paper and secured within the pages. Many have been gifts from my family, always on the hunt for presents for Christmas and birthday. It is a time for reflection as I come across old favourites, and a time of preperation before I continue with the second book.