Monday, 8 December 2014

Where I say, please welcome Jennifer Young, and No Time Like Now

When I write my starting point is almost always the character of my heroine. Strangely, when I get to my first draft thats also the thing I feel needs most work. Megan McLeod, heroine of my second novel, No Time Like Now, is no exception. So here are some things you should know about Megan
1.     Shes an only child of two only children, has fallen out with her father and her mother is dead. That leaves her struggling with a desire to be loved and cherished a desire which she doesnt quite trust.
2.     She has a very conventional upbringing. Daughter of a church minister in the West of Scotland, Megan was taught that a girl should be a nurturer, someone who looks after others. And while she holds to that up to a point, shes come to believe that she has a right to do what she wants, up to a point. In other words, as long as she doesnt hurt anyone else.
3.     But has she hurt anyone else? Megan begins the book suffering from amnesia, a few weeks in her past that she doesnt remember which somehow cast a shadow across the rest of her life.
4.     Given her severe religious upbringing, shes a surprisingly passionate woman. It wasnt unit lee went to university that she fell in love. She learned a lot about herself then, as well as about her lover, Tim Stone. Maybe she feels a little guilty about that, too, deep down in her soulespecially because theres so much of what happened between her and Tim that she doesnt regret.
5.     Shes on the run. Not from the law, but from herself and from the secret that she lies in her past and which, if she really wanted to, she could uncover. But ignorance is bliss for Meganuntil Tim comes back.
6.     What she wants and what she needs are diametrically opposed. She wants to be free of her past by leaving it behind. She needs to face up to it before she can be free of it. And while shes prepared to take some steps towards reconciliation, it takes a twist of Fate and some very unpleasant characters to bring her face to face with her memories.
7.     Shed love to be a blonde. Maybe thats because she doesnt like what she is, or maybe its because her gorgeous rival in love is blonde. Either way, like most beautiful women she isnt happy with what she is.
Theres much more I could write about Megan. She likes cats and sunshine and beautiful beaches, bright colours and ice cream. But all of these are the trimmings. The deep heart of her character is the need to be herself and to be loved.
Read the book and see if she makes it


The facts were plain and inescapable. It wasnt Tim himself who was the problem, even though he had been so at one point in my life. But I was over that. The problem was that he belonged in a part of my life where I had been unhappy, where I didnt get on with my parents, a time when my mother had died too soon, so that I had left harsh words unresolved between us.
There was no doubt that it was his unexpected arrival which had stirred me to try to write once again to my dad. And it was equally obvious that once Id got that letter written the right letter, not like the ones Id sent before but one which deserved and received an accepting and forgiving reply then I wouldnt give a toss whether Tim was there at all. He wasnt the thing which was wrong with my life, but only a stark and painful reminder of it. So I ticked these points off on my fingers one by one, as if they could be quantified it wasnt a question of evolving a strategy to deal with what I felt for him (which was nothing), but of tackling the things he reminded me of (which were hell).
In the meantime, I still had to deal with his presence, and until Id sorted the rest of it out it was best to avoid him. If I explained that much but no moreto Domenica, shed collude in keeping me out of his way. I could stay in the kitchen and Cat could get out there among the kids. Neil Walker could take charge of the bar, or we could just sell them the crates of beer straight off and they could split the bill any way they liked.
On the positive side, it was likely that he would prefer to avoid me, too surely the best outcome. After all, he hadnt exactly looked pleased to see me.
I must have sat there for half an hour, flicking the pages of Pride and Prejudice  without reading them and looking at the photo with tears in my eyes. At last, when the roughness of the limestone became even more uncomfortable than my thoughts, I put the book down, stood up, and stretched. The sea warped the sunlight into colors from indigo to turquoise as I looked down the coast towards the centre, then turned and looked the other way towards blissful remoteness. I was used to remoteness. I even thought I liked it.
The wind stirred the pages of the book. From between them, the photo crept out, turned over, and bowled slowly along the beach. I took off after it, teased and tormented by it, until I trapped it under my foot and picked it up.
Got you! I said in triumph to the false image of my perfect family. Then I took a look along the beach.
Id thought I was alone. Id deliberately chosen a spot where I could be. So it was with a touch of irritation that I realised I might have company.
At first, I wasnt sure. The thing that caught my eye, about a hundred yards away at the far edge of the beach, looked like a piece of wreckage washed up by the waves. And it was a moment before I realised that it was a person. I looked past and then back again; my interest caught. Because something about the sunbather looked wrong.
Naturally curious, thats my problem. And anyway, I had nothing else to do with the morning since Miss Austen had failed to engage my attention and I wasnt keen on risking my peace of mind back at the centre. Clutching the photo between my fingers, I crunched my way along the narrow strip of beach. Just a few yards along, it dawned on me that what I was looking at wasnt a sunbather, that it wasnt even actually on the beach but washed by the shallow sea.
The pebbles spitting under my feet, I broke into a run and, even before I got there, I knew that Id found a body.

About No Time Like Now
Hiding away from a disastrous past, Megan McLeod is getting along nicely in her job as housekeeper at a university field centre in Majorca. But the arrival of geological researcher, Tim Stone, throws everything into disarray because Tim was the father of the baby she lost some years before and the two of them had parted very messily indeed.
As if having Tim on the scene wasnt bad enough, he's there with his new partner, Holly. But when in the course of his research he comes upon something extremely nasty along the cliffs of north Majorca, hes forced to turn to Megan for help.
Buy it from
Tirgearr Publishing
Amazon US

Amazon UK

About Jennifer Young
Jennifer Young is an Edinburgh-based writer, editor and copywriter. She is interested in a wide range of subjects and writing media, perhaps reflecting the fact that she has both arts and science degrees. Jennifer has been writing fiction, including romantic fiction, for a number of years with several short stories already published. No Time Like Now is her second published novel; her first novel, Thank You For The Music, is also set on the Balearic island of Majorca.
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you can catch her tour here

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