An Off The Cuff Moment

An Off The Cuff Moment.

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Off The Cuff is my local, friendly, supportive writing group. We meet once a week and write off the cuff. Sometimes we’re given a title, sometimes we’re presented with specific words to include within our piece, and sometimes we’re prompted by a hash tag on a text …

It’s a great way to flex the writing muscle.

I have a number of notebooks filled with short stories, flash fictions, poems and possible beginnings to new novels, all written at Off The Cuff. I was looking through my most recent one and thought I’d share my cowboy short with you.

 

Gunfight at the Not OK Corral.

Swaggering down the street, gun in hand, Gabe’s eyes flicked left to right as he scanned the path ahead. Five minutes had passed since his tussle with Jed behind the old church and neither gunslinger was about to leave town. This was a fight to the death.
Turning the corner, Gabe squinted. The low summer sun was reflecting off the rear window of a large, black four-by-four, blinding him to what lay ahead. Right now, he was vulnerable. Right now, Jed could shoot him down.

Gabe stopped and listened. A scuffing and shuffling of boots carried on the breeze and drew his attention to the front of the vehicle. He raised a hand to his brow, and searched the dusty road for signs of life. There. A brim of a hat. A shadow.

Exposed and with nowhere to hide, Gabe checked his gun for ammo – one more shot. He had to make it count.

‘Jed,’ he called. ‘I know you’re there. Show yourself.’ He tucked his gun into the front pocket of his jeans, thrust his thumbs into his waistband, and waited.

With a hand secured to his hip, Jed emerged from in front of the car. ‘What’s it to be, Gabe?’ he said, his fingers hovering over his holster. ‘One on one?’

Gabe nodded. ‘Yep. Just you and me. We end it. Now.’ He indicated for Jed to turn around, stood with his back to his, and started a count to ten as both cowboys strode in opposite directions.

‘Turn and draw?’ Jed asked at step eight.

‘Yep.’ Gabe’s nerves rolled like tumble weed around his gut. He could take Jed. He just needed to keep his focus. ‘Nine. Ten.’ He wheeled round, lifted his gun and squeezed the trigger. ‘Prepare to get wet, Jed!’ he yelled, laughing as the water spurted from his pistol.

 

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I’m thrilled to have been asked to be a judge at Bridport’s Story Slam on Tuesday 14th October 2015. If you’re in the area, please do come along and listen to the local talent.

I will have copies of Follow Me Follow You available for purchase on the day.

Take care.

Laura x

And We Have Lift-Off! Follow Me, Follow You is Launched.

And We Have Lift-Off! Follow Me, Follow You is Launched.

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Click on the photo to visit the Amazon link

My second novel for Choc Lit, Follow Me Follow You, today released as a paperback, had a wonderful launch on Saturday.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust Chesil Beach Centre was the setting, the weather was gorgeous and the afternoon went without a hitch.

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Thank you to my fab publisher, Choc Lit, the Chesil Beach Centre, friends, family, writers and readers in real life and online, who supported the event . I am touched and humbled by how much you put yourselves out to get behind the day. I am one lucky and very grateful writer.

The loom bands giveaways.
The loom bands giveaways.

Follow Me, Follow You is on tour for the next week, and I’ll be Tweeting and putting the links on Facebook for those who would like to #follow, and there is a free giveaway through the Brook Cottage Books tour.

Thank you to all the reviewers and bloggers who have invited me to their site, including my Romaniac chums, two of whom paid a visit to Dorset on Saturday.

Sue, Laura and Catherine
Sue, Laura and Catherine

I hope you enjoy the variety of posts and the extracts from the book.

One last thing before I go … My debut novel, Truth or Dare? is available as a free download today and tomorrow in celebration of the release of FMFY.

Have a great week.

Laura x

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 11. Launch Day Goodies Pt 2

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 11. Launch Day Goodies Pt 2

Since I’ve been writing for Choc Lit, I’ve learned some new skills.

IMG_7039When once I couldn’t bake cupcakes that didn’t resemble biscuits, I can now produce edibles sponges, brought about by providing tried and tested recipes for the Choc Lit anthologies.

With the release of my debut last year, Truth or Dare?, I produced home-made scratch cards for readers to takeIMG_4825 part in a game of Truth or Dare.

 

When once I couldn’t make … Ah, well, there’s the teaser. Let’s just say my daughter taught me how to make the fun goodies we’re giving away at the launch.

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Gajitman and his steady hand.

Laura x

 

 

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 10. The Book Launch Goodies

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 10. The Book Launch Goodies.

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On Saturday, 6th September 2014, at the Chesil Beach Centre, Portland, I’ll be hosting my first-ever book launch. There will be copies of Follow Me, Follow You available for purchase and signing (indulge me – I’ve been practising my signature), and I’ve had the James household working hard on making a few small giveaways.

The week will be supported by a virtual book tour and guest posts and interviews with wonderful book bloggers on social media, organised by Choc Lit, and Brook Cottage Books.

The beautiful book tour banner from Brook Cottage Books
The beautiful book tour banner from Brook Cottage Books

On the 17th September, my publisher Choc Lit will be releasing a special Choc Lit Treat – an original short story so fresh, I’ve still 700 words to write … Please see the Choc Lit site for details as to how to sign up for the Treat.

So, as you can imagine, it’s all go here, with just three more sleeps.

To be honest, with the adrenalin and excitement whooshing through my bloodstream, that will probably turn out to equate to one sleep, but you get my drift.

More tomorrow …

Laura x

 

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 9. The Book Launch and Littoralis.

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 9. The Book Launch and Littoralis.

Follow Me, Follow You is my first paperback, so I thought I would celebrate with a book launch and an author afternoon.

Meet Littoralis, four local authors inspired by or writing about the Jurassic coastline, in particular, Weymouth and Portland.

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I first met Kathy Sharp at my local writing group, Off The Cuff, a mutual friend introduced me to Kate Kelly, who then introduced Kathy and me to Carol Hunt. We all write within different genres. Between us we cover fantasy, young adult, contemporary romance and children’s books, and we will all be at the book launch and author afternoon, for chat, readings and signings.

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And we would love to see you there.

Laura x

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 8. The Pebbles of Chesil Beach.

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 8. The Pebbles of Chesil Beach.

Portland. No Stones
‘The unauthorised removal of pebbles from this beach is prohibited.’

The pebbles must remain on Chesil Beach. It is prohibited to remove them.

As a child, I obeyed the rule, although I found it difficult, as the stones fascinated me. They still do. The beach consists of greys, whites, browns, reds, blacks … all merging together to somehow magically form a beautiful sandy hue.

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My children have the same fascination, and between us, we can idle away many happy hours searching for special stones, ultimately leaving them on Chesil for someone else to discover.

Talking of rocks, Victoria has a very interesting first meeting with Chris Frampton’s friend and manager, Tommy … Another fascinating Stone to add to the collection.

Laura x

 

 

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 7. Tout Quarry.

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 7. Tout Quarry.

Another wonderful place to visit on Portland is Tout Quarry.

In Follow Me, Follow You, a quarry is situated not far from Victoria’s cottage. It provides neutral ground – somewhere Victoria and Chris can go to talk, having never been there together.

In the real Tout Quarry, there are incredible sculptures, carved from the pale grey Portland stone.

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There are plenty of British landmark properties built from Portland stone, notably Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral.

And Chris Frampton’s castle.

Laura x

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 6. The Best View in Portland

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 6. The Best View in Portland.

Both Victoria Noble and Chris Frampton return home after years of living away. And why wouldn’t they, when just up the road from them is this incredible view of Chesil?

This recent photo is taken from a glorious viewing point on Portland. I’ve been here many times, even before I lived in Dorset as an adult.

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Like the hero and heroine, I came back.

Laura x

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 5. Introducing the Great Oak.

Follow Me, Follow You Teasers: Day 5. Introducing the Great Oak.

The Great Oak
The Great Oak

All heroes need to find solutions to their problems, and Chris Frampton, however exceptional he is in other areas, is no different. He likes to talk through a problem, which is what I do when I have a plot issue. We like to put the words ‘out there’, and watch them take shape.

So we need a confidant. One who, or in this case, that listens and lets us work things out for ourselves.

Meet the Great Oak, Follow Me, Follow You problem solver extraordinaire.

Laura x