Tag Archives: Betrayal

Release Day: BETRAYAL

I’m thrilled beyond words to announce the release of a brandnew novel: BETRAYAL went live on Amazon in the wee hours of the morning. So far, it’s only available for the Kindle, but other formats and a print edition will follow in the few months.

For seventeen years Ash has been eaten up alive by bitterness and hatred, caught fast in the clutches of the past. For seventeen years he has not been able to look at the boy he raised as his heir and not remember the terrible betrayal he had to endure. And yet, for seventeen years he has closed his eyes against the even more terrible truth…

Seventeen years ago Georgina fled from England and all she ever held dear. But for the sake of her child, she must return to confront the man whom she once loved more than life itself until lies and deceit tore her life and marriage apart.

Will their love stand a second chance?

Find the book on Amazon:

For some background info, check out the newsletter that went out today.


After yesterday’s sad news, I bring you something more cheerful: namely, the Prologue and Chapter 1 of the free audiobook of BETRAYAL. Enjoy!

Pssssst … another new cover …

So as I said, I’m overhauling my old (never finished) podcast novella Betrayal. Which of course means that it also needs a new cover, for you cannot dress overhauled stories in old covers, can you? (Poor story, it would probably cry over still being dressed in its old drab clothes.) So without further ado I give you the brandnew cover for Betrayal!

Enter Melodrama

When the Muse was on holiday, she befriended melodrama, it seems. Oh dearie, dearie me…

Her eyebrows lifted, a horribly familiar movement.

His stomach heaved. How should he concentrate on this inane conversation when everything about this situation was wrong? Wrong

… like a song out of tune …

Cold sweat formed on his brow as his mind’s eye conjured up a picture of her sitting at the piano. He could almost hear the music as her slender fingers danced over the keys, beckoning him, enticing him.


Not goodz. Must try this again.

Collage of a Poem

Once again, I couldn’t stay away from poetry. 🙂 Enjoy!

Where had his love been then? The love he had so grandly declared over and over again.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear …

In the end, it had turned out to be nothing but pomp and illusion. The man who had stood in front of her, shredding her life to pieces, had been a stranger. A cold-hearted stranger, with ice flowing through his veins.

And I will love thee still, my dear …

Accusations had spilled from his lips in a sheer endless stream and had burrowed into her skin like acid. He had given her no opportunity for explanations. And even if she had been able to make them, they would have fallen onto deaf ears.

O my luve is like a red, red rose …

She remembered the numbness of her lips as the blood had drained from her face, as she had realised that this was the end.

Playing with the Muse

Georgina gave him another clap on the shoulder, but Finnian only chuckled and settled back with his head against her knee. And as she looked down on his unruly dark hair, a most curious sensation came over her. The years fell away, and it was another young man sitting at her feet, another dark head leaning against her knee. Like that time when she had stood among Dr. Neuburg’s collection of dead birds, the memories rose and whirled around her in a mad dance. Past and present melted into one.

He had poured out his innermost thoughts, had let her into the closely guarded bastion of his heart. Glowing with ardent love, he had read poems to her, out in the gardens, where the wind had ruffled his dark hair.

“Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.”

Empty fancies of youth.

How quickly his ardour had passed. And still … and still …

But it was her son who turned his head and smiled at her sweetly.

“Ah Mama, I love you so.”

A short, sharp sting in her heart, then she leaned forward and stroked his cheek. “I love you, too, my Finn.”

So much that she had given up her past and all that she had once been. So much that she had turned her memories into pale spectres. Horrid ghosts, which she tried to keep under lock and key because their bones could never be found and buried.

But Georgina had no regrets. Given a choice, she would do it all again.

Happy, happy, happy! 🙂

Sandy’s Tuesday Midnight Post

Sitting-Room Decoration Dilemma Solved

I’ve got beautiful, elegant reddish-orange cushions for my red couch, but because the kitty-cat has invaded the sitting room, I can’t really leave the cushions on the couch for everyday use. But without cushions the couch looks rather bare and dreary. So, what to do?

I rummaged among my old stuff that’s all packed up, and got out our old caravan cushions from the 1970s. These are my all-time favourite cushions anyway: they’re round, they’ve got frills of sorts, and they’re covered with brown, orange and yellow little flowers. Very pretty. They’re my think-happy-thoughts cushions. 🙂 At first I wasn’t quite sure, whether they would actually fit into the overall decoration scheme of the sitting room, but in fact, they look lovely and lend the room a nice, casual atmosphere.

New Favourite Blog

While searching the web for red transferware today, I stumbled across a truly wonderful blog: Little Red House. For somebody who loves home decoration magazines as much as I do, Mary’s blog is a veritable treasure trove: she has decorated her house with antiques, family heirlooms, and thrift shop finds — and it’s sooooo pretty. No doubt I will visit her blog quite often in the future. 🙂

Speaking of red transferware: I’ve fallen in love with the Bristol series from Crown Ducal. Isn’t it pretty?

Tickling the Muse

Today I did some work on BETRAYAL (yay!) and elaborated some more on Georgina’s memories of Ash. Since the two of them meet face to face relatively late into the story, I have to balance this by emphasising their memories of each other. (I hope this actually works!)

The scene I was working on today is one of my favourites: Georgina is sitting at the window of the coachman’s house in the evening, when her son enters the room and sits down at her feet and leans his head against her knee. The scene is so poignant because it’s not the son she has raised, but the other twin, who has grown up in the stifling atmosphere of Ashburnham Place and hungers for love. It’s definitely an awwww-scene for me — and I hope that it will also be an awww-scene for my readers . 🙂

Settings: The Villa under the Linden Trees

It’s been some time since I last blogged about the German setting for BETRAYAL, the Villa under the Linden Trees. 13 months, to be exact. We can’t have that!

Those who’ve been following this blog for some time now, know that I’ve based my fictional Villa under the Linden Trees on a real villa in the vicinity of Frankfurt. I fell in love with the house when I was a little child, and I was absolutely fascinated by the old playhouse which still stood in the park at that time. It was big enough for a small child to stand in, but it was also quite eerie as all the windows were covered with dirt and cobwebs and when you peeped inside through the smudgy glass, you could see that all the furniture inside was also covered with cobwebs — as you can see, it made quite an impression on little me!

A few years ago I paid the house a second visit — and fell in love with it all over again. Unfortunately, the old playhouse was gone and had been replaced by a newer, open model (not at all fascinating!).


The ice house was open. 🙂 What a perfect place to get spooked on a nice summer’s day!

Since then I’ve been back to visit the house every once in a while. I still love it so very much. And of course, I simply had to use it as a setting in one of my stories. 🙂

Georgina had built a new life for herself here in this villa on the banks of the river, in one of the small towns that spread along the Main west and east from old, venerable Frankfurt like pearls on a string.

The Villa under the Linden Trees seeemed to sparkle in the sunlight, radiating happiness and good cheer.

That evening Georgina sat at the window in her room up under the roof of the coachman’s house, her sewing on her lap. While the needle glided through the material her thoughts flew back to what Martin Renner had told them this afternoon about her son’s further exploits. The trip to Italy had certainly changed her quiet, serious child. What had the hot Italian sun awakened in him?

Abruptly she turned and hurried back the way she had come, faster and faster, until she almost ran up the stairs that led to the gardens of the Villa under the Linden Trees. Faster and faster under the green arch of the trees. At the door of the ice house she came to a stumbling halt.
Shuddering, she leaned against the thick wood. The breath wheezed in her lungs while a host of images tumbled through her mind, around and around in a made parade.

She thought of the first time she had walked beneath those same trees that rose high on her left and right like the pillars of a cathedral. As she had done then, she stopped and laid her head back to follow the lines of the dark trunks with her gaze. And even after all these years, she still felt the same awe, was overwhelmed by the beauty of black, whispering branches and glittering leaves against brilliant blue.
Georgina’s breath hissed through her nose as pain sliced her heart.
Just in that moment, the wind picked up. A puff of air let the branches rustle, and suddenly hundreds of small leaves were raining down on her. She didn’t notice the tendrils of hair the breeze blew across her face, but lost herself in the whirl of glitter and gold. If only this moment would never end …

More Musings about Flashbacks

I guess in films flashbacks are much easier to do: you can do them with (literal) flashes of blurred or hazy images (think CSI!) that last only a few seconds. In writing, it is of course much more difficult to simulate such flashes of memory: you have to describe what your character sees in front of his inner eye, but at the same time you have to soften the edges of your description in a manner of speaking to blur the images. I try to do this by not describing fully fleshed out scenes, but concentrating on specific details instead. But then I thought about how tricky it really is to really remember details. I mean, would you be able to remember the colour of the eyes of a person you haven’t seen for seventeen years? (Let’s face it: for some people *cough* some men *cough* everybody is of average height and average size and has light brown hair.) And exactly this was what triggered the following flashback (Ash is standing outside the music room, listening to a conversation between his son and the housekeeper):

The housekeeper made a strange sound. Her hand rose to circle her throat. “I beg your pardon, my lord. I shouldn’t have mentioned your mother.”

Oh yes, Ash thought grimly. You shouldn’t have. Had he not made this clear seventeen years ago after …

He shuddered.

Even now his mind shied away from that “after.”

But alas, the ghosts of the past had already risen to mock him and taunt him. The expression on her face that last time in his study. Milky-white skin — shock that he had seen through her masquerade, through all her scheming and lies. Large as saucers her eyes had been …

Her eyes …

Ash’s stomach dropped, and for a moment he had to lean his head against the smooth wood of the door jamb, while some unknown, unwanted emotion constricted his throat.

He couldn’t remember the color of her eyes.

He swallowed hard, then shook his head angrily. Fool. Fool. What did it matter of what color her eyes had been?

And here’s another problem with flashbacks in written texts: because Ash’s thoughts have run over a few paragraphs, I can’t just seamlessly continue with the conversation between St. Asaph and the housekeeper now. For the reader some time has passed simply because it has taken her some time to read these paragraphs. So this has to be reflected in the text as well.

Musings on What Makes a Hero Tick

One of the things I’m trying to do while fleshing out BETRAYAL is to lend my characters more emotional depth. Or perhaps I should rather say, to intensify their emotions — especially when it comes to my hero.

Ash is a man who has experienced heartache in the past and who therefore keeps his emotions now tightly reined in. Still, at several points in the story he acts in extreme ways, and I’ve kept thinking that I haven’t really given him enough justification for his behaviour. Soooooo …. *rubbing my hands* … he’s going to suffer a bit more. And I’ve now finally figured out what his trigger is: he hates all reminders of the past, he hates it that his emotions once caused him to look like a fool, and most of all, he hates feeling vulnerable. For this reason he now keeps his emotions tied up, and doesn’t allow himself to feel much of anything. Yet when he is caught unawares and the memories rise and he is reminded of his vulnerability and of what he regards as his foolishness, he is overwhelmed by waves of intense anger, doesn’t really know how to handle it, and hence blows a fuse.

Poor thing.