|Prototype of Valsummer House, details vary from book description|
I realized last night at 9:30 that I had not written the blog post I had planned to write for this week and that I didn't have the time to write it and take the photographs. So it's a quick substitute post this week -- the first version of the blub for my next book, along with a photograph of an early version of what will be Valsummer House which I painted decades ago.
The house I picture above is very similar to the title house in the book as far as its general style. However its details and setting will be different in the book. Still this gives you the general idea of how I envision it.
I've began working on the second draft, with a goal of doing a chapter a day. Despite being free to make any changes I care to, I find that I generally follow the first draft, just tweaking my writing. I have a tendency to write run on sentences, so that these days, I make a special effort to break them up and eliminate a lot of "ands." I also seem to write a lot of sentences backward. I don't know enough about the mechanics of English to say exactly what I'm doing, but I think its a byproduct of working an idea through while I'm writing it down. Once I have it down, I can then go back and tweak it to read better.
Anyway, I'm going to keep this post short. Work is going well on the second draft. I've made a few more extensive changes to reflect the evolution of the story as I went along. And I expect to spend more time reworking things as I go along since I've gone over the first few chapters several times during the those periods when I had to stop and collect my thoughts on how to proceed. All in all, I expect to be able to release the book towards the end of March 2021.
Below is the first draft of the Blurb. This will change over time as well.
The Secrets of Valsummer House
A Nine Star Nebula Mystery
The Secrets of Valsummer House is the direct sequel to the Secret of the Tzarista Moon, picking up the story several months after the conclusion of the first book. Sleepy Pine Cove has been transformed into a lively resort town with the arrival of the summer people. Rafe d’Mere is happily fixing toasters, bots, and appliances, when who should arrive, but one Lieutenant JG Vaun Di Ai, to his alarm and delight. She assures him that she is there merely to tick off some boxes on the case forms, and follow up on a few leads that the interrogation of the Seven Syndicate members rounded up at the end of the last story provided. She further assures him that she has strict orders to do nothing but tick boxes or risk her career in the Patrol. Basically, she is, in her own words, “An intelligence analyst 3 on a field trip.” So he has nothing to worry about. But knowing her, of course he does. With good reason.
The Secrets of Valsummer House is written as an old-fashioned “whodunit” style of mystery. First we have the arrival of a mysterious crate containing an “antique” robot whose delivery was mysteriously delayed – for years. And then, Di Ai arrives on her mission, followed by the arrival of a rather mysterious lady a day later. All of them connected in one way or another. Toss in the other Pine Cove characters from the first story, the Seven Syndicate, and its leader, the pirate prince known only as Seven, and you have a tangled web of intrigue and mystery to be discovered and unraveled.
I like to do something a little different with each book I write. This time around, it’s a pretty pure mystery. There’s a lot less plasma darts flying about in this story. It is pretty much a story of uncovering connections and following clues to unravel the mystery of the bot, the mysterious woman, and the pirate prince of the Seven Syndicate.