Writer’s Digest July 31, 2023

Well, what can I say about last week?

It began with some news in the day job that blindsided me and pretty much set the theme for the week. It, however, is what it is and I’m sure will sort itself out in due course. In the meantime though, I did my usual trick of lying awake with my stomach churning and my brain racing in the middle of the night so now have a head cold as a delightful (not!) result of not enough sleep. Heigh ho.

In short, I barely wrote a thing. I did, however, write a blurb for Christmas at Mannus Ridge and engage a cover designer for that one. Embarrassingly because I finished this book so long ago – as in last year – I had to re-read it to remember what it was about and who was who in the zoo.

Blurbs, I think, are harder to write than the books themselves. This one, less than 250 words, took (no word of a lie) almost all of Saturday. Sure, I had some breaks during that time – to make some Hong Kong egg tarts, to watch another episode of an old Broadchurch we’re re-watching – but it still took hours.

At one point Grant said helpfully, ‘Why don’t you leave it for a bit?’

To which I replied, ‘I started writing it last year!’

‘Okay, so I guess you have left it for a bit…’

Anyways, here it is in all its glory…

But before I share it, it was a glorious weekend and we managed to get out for a Sunday drive and ended up at this gem – Georgie Lane Antiques and Tearoom just outside Maleny. Great views, good scones and the best range of real antiques I’ve seen in a long time. Philly Barker would be pleased.

Okay, without further ado, here’s the (draft) blurb for Christmas at Mannus Ridge

Small towns can have long memories…

With the dress bought and the church booked for her wedding to Angus McGuire, Ainsley St James ran from Mannus Ridge vowing not to return until she’d achieved her career goals.

Almost fifteen years later she has it all – an inner-city apartment, a sports car, and a wardrobe of designer fashion to match her high-flying banking career.

Until she loses it all. Suddenly single, homeless, jobless, and finding that rock-bottom is a moving target, Ainsley has no choice but to return to Mannus Ridge with her tail between her legs.

While her family welcomes her home with open arms, others aren’t happy she’s back or ready to forgive her for jilting Angus so close to their wedding – and Angus is at the top of that list.

To complicate matters, her family’s hotel, The Royal, is in trouble and with the bank threatening to foreclose Ainsley knows she will do whatever it takes to save the pub – and her parent’s livelihood – even if that means staying in Mannus Ridge.

As Ainsley falls back under the spell of her hometown – and Angus – she realises there’s more at stake than simply saving the pub. Someone, it seems, wants to destroy The Royal, and without The Royal what would happen to Mannus Ridge?

With her family and her town counting on her can Ainsley manage to turn the fortunes of The Royal around – and have a second chance at love with Angus… all before Christmas?