Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nice Review

Return to Winter
will go into print on June 29th. I got quite a nice 4 star review for the book from Annie at Euro-Reviews:

Stephanie Baynham returns to South Wales from a nine-month stay with her grandparents in Italy, where she fled from her feelings for Dylan Pryce-Jones. Stephanie and Dylan became close--intimately close--at the wedding of Matt and Sandy, held at Dylan's establishment, but Stephanie's fear of abandonment impelled her escape, leaving Dylan distraught and puzzled. When she returns, she is astonished to discover, first of all, that Sandy is expecting in a few weeks; and second, that Dylan appears to be engaged to his manager.
Christmas at Dylan's castle inn is certainly going to be an uproar for Stephanie.

Much worse, when she returns to her apartment block, the words "You're Dead" are scrawled across her mirror. Stephanie runs again, this time in fear of neighbor and former boss Lawrence Black, nightclub owner and general sleazy type, whom she suspects of killing one of his female employees, in his apartment across the way from Stephanie's. She is right to fear Lawrence,but what she doesn't yet understand is that she has more to be terrified of than just him, including others who wanther out of the way, and her own emotions toward Dylan. Stephanie and Dylan, along with the reader, are in for a roller-coaster ride of suspense, emotions, intimacy, and general uproar!

Return to Winter reprises as secondary characters Matt and Sandy who made It Happened One Summer such a delight to read. In this volume, however, this reviewer found Stephanie a much less appealing character. Ms. Rees performs excellently at delineating Stephanie's insecurities and underlying fear of abandonment. Dylan, the hero, is also well-designed and his parents, and their separate paths, are intriguingly constructed, keeping readers' attention on that sub-plot. The plot will entice readers' notice and keep all guessing. Kudos to Lynette Rees for her ability to twist the plot around unexpected corners and deliver constant reader surprises.

Annie ~ Euro-Reviews


Edward Yates said...

Congratulations on the positive review Lynette!

I think you could perhaps put a link the publisher and place you can purchase Return to Winter in that blog post. I'm guessing that the link is up on your site though already. (Using the highlight words and then add link function in blogger).

On a somewhat separate note I did not particularly like the reviewer's writing style...

I hope you are good.


Lynette said...

Thanks, Ed. I have a link to the e-book on my website [but I just checked it and for some reason it's not working.] I'll have to sort that out.

I'll try as you suggest about adding the link here.


Edward Yates said...

Hey Lynette,

I tested the link to your book on this post and it brought up a wierd error message on a blank page.

1062 Duplicate entry 'zc_d6616cb5f4c2cb55d422ea67feb723b0' for key 1
[db_cache table]

Which was obviously not the page!

I don't know, it might be due to you being logged on securely to the WildRose server and doing a cut and paste of the link or something.

I then went to Wild Rose press and did a search for Return to Winter.

But the server is a bit twitchy and gave me a similar error when I hit the back button on my browser!

Not having much luck.

The link that seems to work for me is:

Anyway... The other thing... And you probably don't want to hear it after me annoying you with link problems, though is that the Navbar on your page layout blocks the view of your blog title. "Nettie's Ramblings" is partially obscured by said Navbar. Could this perhaps be moved to another part of your blog?

On a completely different note upon (re)visiting the Wild Rose blog I read your post there about use of setting, which was a good post in terms of thinking about a way to show the reader the world of the central protagonists. My mother (and probably other authors)always talked about 'Show and not tell' the reader the story.

The Wild Rose blog is also looking far funkier-more professional than what it was a little while ago, where you had to scroll down past the great long list of Author's names. So a very much improved group blog in terms of layout and appeal in my view. Although strangely more intimidating to post a reply on, which I did not on that particular post.

Hope you are good.


Lynette said...

That's odd, Ed, because the link works fine my end. There also isn't a problem here with the navbar either. Could it be something to do with your screen settings. I've tried it using two different web browsers, Firefox and IE, and the page and link look and work fine.

What I'll do is ask some of my online friends if they are seeing what you are.

Please don't feel you can't post to The Wild Rose blog, I love hearing from other people other than its authors there.

Your mother was an author? You'll have to tell me more about her. If you want you can e-mail me at:

Edward Yates said...

Hey Lynette,

Now the position of the Navbar is fine! Did you move it or something?

And now the link seems to be working fine for me also, so forget that too!

I swear I'm not crazy! The interweb does wierd things sometimes.

Well my mum was a begining writer, she had a number of pieces published as a freelance journalist and a few short stories, and won a number of competitions. She also worked as a lecturer in communications before she got cancer.

So, she was just starting out on a new path really, and had a lot more to create and give before she died.

I found a couple of her unfinished short stories in pages from her journal in her hand writing, buried under pages of something else. It was like finding buried treasure. A fair number of the pages from this journal 97-98 are missing, ripped out, compared to her later ones 2001-2004.

I guess I don't mind sharing this with you as looking over your blog I think you will 'get it' in a way. Interestingly I found out you also experience a couple of things that I do too: in terms of seasonal depression, insomnia (I was waking up at 4am for ages and then going back to sleep at 5am) and you say you are a procrastinator par-excellence.

I now call my fits of depression the 'black dog visiting' like my mum used to. I manage it pretty well now compared to when I was younger, it is just part of who I am I guess, goes alongside the creative side of me (and I suspect you too).

In terms of the Wild Rose site, I guess because my online identity is obviously gendered as a man, perhaps my hesitance to post last time is a little to do with it being a woman's/writer's space...don't know...I will get back to you on that.

Hope things are good with you.


Lynette said...

You must be so proud of your mother, Ed. It's nice that she has left a part of herself behind in her writing.

I knew a writer who belonged to the same group of mother writers once [Momwriters]. Her name was Bea Sheftel and her writing really touched me. Just before she died [and none of us knew this was coming she had some sort of flu or chest infection] she said how much she would like it if her writing wasn't forgotten and it lived on.

I made sure I bought a copy of her poems 'Beauty in the Weeds' and another book where one of her essays was published.

She hadn't made the big time, she wasn't always the best speller in the world, but her writing was full of heart and soul.

You can read some of her work online if you Google her name. There's also a post I wrote when she died. [March 13th 2005] I never met her yet I cried for the loss of her spirit, if that makes sense?

Yes, I changed the title on the blog by inserting some spaces. One other person was seeing the same as you and suggested that way to remedy it. Thanks for letting me know, Ed.

Yes, I get seasonal affective disorder but I've learned by taking ST. John's Wort through Sept to March it keeps it at bay. I'm actually back on it at the moment as I was exhibiting minor symptoms a few weeks back and then of course the episode with Danny going missing didn't help.

How do you cope with your 'black dog'?

It's interesting you mention your mother had it too, I think it can be familial. My mother is prone to it as well, although her symptoms are fairly minor.

My worst and first bout was 18 years ago actually while pregnant. Nothing has been has severe as that since thank goodness. In a way, I've turned it around to an advantage and the skills I learned to cope used to help when counselling those with anxiety and depression when I was counselling mental health clients. So every cloud as they say...

By the way, I've been meaning to ask did you find out about The Wild Rose Press, did you just surf on in?

Take care,


Edward Yates said...

Hi Lynette,

Last question first, first question last.

I found the Wild Rose group blog by surfing. I had first clicked on the Navbar next blog and ended up on Jenna's Romatic Notions - Jenna Bayley-Burke's blog, which she has not written in this year, looks like she is perhaps in hiatus, spending time with her kids as she has written in her other blog. She had a link in her profile to the group blog for the Wild Rose authors. So I bookmarked her blog as I was curious about her writing rate and submissions rate, comparing to where I am presently at. I linked to the Wild Rose Press blog via her profile, and bookmarked that.

Then I did some random clicking on people writing there. The few American god bothering crusading christian types scared me a little! Although that is hardly representative of Wild Rose.

And I think you had written something that made me bite in relation to "orrible time wasting people who wannabe-a-writer, but never put pen-to-paper, or fingers to keyboard" which I agreed and disagreed with.

Anyway. I think I bookmarked your blog after your post on Wild Rose. All this was lucky as Jenna removed Wild Rose group blog from her blog profile. I suppose I could have hunted for it later though.

I then was looking for a publisher for short stories to novella length pieces and ended up surfing through again and came back to visit.

I cope with my black dog visiting by getting up and keeping relatively active, even if it means sticking to some kind of routine (almost rote) each day for many months of the year.

It gets worse if I don't do anything, or my stress levels rise, or I have an irregular routine for a period of time like if I stay up late, sleep in, have an afternoon nap, too much caffeine, too much alcohol, insomnia, rich food that throws sleep out.

I tried St John's Wort and it sort of took the edge off over a long period of use. But the problem I found was that the onset was usually rapid, so I often have to act straight away or just have something set up to catch me in free fall, rather than a cumulative affect over 2-3 weeks.

I've also done a kind of trauma counselling of the narrative therapy variety, but it was with a particular group of refugees, and it involved writing up their life stories as part of my PhD work. This was also personally useful to me. I don't have any problems really when I think about what some of my life storytellers went through.

And thanks for telling me that you inserted spaces in the heading. I knew I was not going crazy!

To be honest I don't know how I feel about my mum and dad on a lot of days anymore. I put a bit of distance bewteen myself and my father after the barstard re-partnered in less than 12 months after mum died. He is not really a bastard, just his way of surviving. But it cut me open and left me pretty bitter and twisted. My relationship with my mum is now trapped in amber, she'll never get to see me change as a person, and vice versa. I don't know what I feel. At worst, people can waste their lives doing some things. Life is very short and very fragile and is taken for granted. At best, I should do what I want, or at least try to, because you are here for a good time, not a long time.

All crap and cliched mind you...

I am taking care of myself these days and have a relatively good support structure around me.

And yes it makes perfect sense crying over the loss of someone who you knew through their words. As that is usually the way we know most people in this world. (I am privileging 'the word' here a little too much probably, but what the hey...)

Hope you are good.

Maybe you could write down what you would have liked to have happened to Danny the dog after he got lost? From his perspective. His adventure...if you like...where he ended up. As you have already written the story of his loss.

Lynette said...

Thanks for sharing, Ed. I don't think I'd been posting to TWRP blog that long when you started commenting. I've had my own personal blog for a couple of years but went through phases of writing there. I'm not the type of person who writes in it every day, only if something moves me.

That must be hard on you seeing your father with someone else so soon.

I'm feeling particularly bad about Danny this week. I didn't really feel he was dead before, but now I'm thinking of all scenarios. Either that he fell down a pit shaft [there are lots of old mine workings on the mountain] or he got run over.

The dog warden said it's quite possible someone has taken him in and hasn't contacted anyone about it. I hope that's the case, though I feel I'll never see him again.

I had another dream the other night that I was hugging him. I could feel his soft fur and I was saying, "You're a lovely boy!"

When I've dreamt about him, I feel worse the next day. It reinforces he is no longer here.

A press officer from the doglost website has submitted a press release to the local paper. It's due out tomorrow, don't know if it will be in there. I think that would be the best chance of getting him back if someone has him.

Maybe I will need to write some sort of ending to his story if he doesn't show up to bring about closure for myself. At the moment, I am in limbo.

I seem to be the only one in the family who feels like this. Of course, everyone misses him, but not in the way I do, or so it seems to me at the moment.

Take care,


Edward Yates said...

Perhaps other people in your family are just dealing with Danny going missing in their own way or a bit differently to you?

Maybe the press release to the local paper will turn something up.

I still think you should write the story of what you would have liked to happen to Danny after he went missing. Not probable death scenarios.

I'm off for a little while to northern queensland tomorrow. I need some sunshine. So I won't be blogging for a while.

I hope everything with you is good while I'm off having adventures.

best wishes,

Lynette said...

That's the problem, when I'm being optimistic, I'm being told to expect the worst, so I keep alternating between hope and despair.

Have a great, relaxing time, Ed!