On the Shores of Tregalwen

Whenever I write a review, whether I thoroughly enjoyed the story or not, I try to leave out as many spoilers as possible. Knowing that will not always be possible, I’ll still do my best to refrain from spoiling such things as climaxes, twists and the like. Who wants a book completely ruined before you even try it for yourself?

Touted by Amazon as “a swoony award winner,” this story is an introductory novella to a series of romances set in Cornwall, England. It follows our two MCs, Hannah Summerfield and Thomas Causey, as they navigate and explore their feelings for one another. I’ll begin this review with complete honesty: I find Ms. Hathaway’s books to be very hit-or-miss when it comes to the stories themselves. There is absolutely nothing amiss with grammar or structure.

As this isn’t the first I’ve read of the series, I already knew some of what to expect. The only thing I found lacking was a little bit more adventure. But then again, I’m always looking for more adventure in my reads. The best modern comparison would have to be any novel by Nicholas Sparks. It’s most definitely a feel-good-when-you’re-down kind of read. This book takes place before BEHIND THE LIGHT OF GOLOWDUYN; a tale I enjoyed more than this novella.

Everything in TREGALWEN wraps up neatly, if not a bit rushed. And, if I may say, there is such a thing as a romance that’s a bit too sweet, a bit too predictable. If you’re looking for a HEA (happily ever after), then certainly give TREGALWEN a read. The four stars are for location, well built characters, and tight plotting. Minus one star for a noticeable POV issue along the way. Finally, if you like something with a tad bit more adventure, then BEHIND THE LIGHT OF GOLOWDUYN may just be the tale for you.

SYNOPSIS:
Cornwall, 1815
When her estranged mother beckons her to London, Hannah Summerfield has no choice but to answer her call. Forced to leave behind her peaceful life in Cornwall, she bids farewell to the seaside, her grandparents—and her childhood sweetheart, Thomas. She becomes subdued at once by Society’s rigid rules and her mother’s censure, and when Thomas’s letters unexplainedly stop, she is left to wonder if she ought to embrace her new life in Town after all. But when her mother pressures her to accept an unwanted proposal, Hannah cannot help but flee to the one place she has ever called home—to the only boy she has ever loved.

After three years apart, Thomas Causey has all but given up hope of Hannah ever returning to Cornwall, fearing she has fallen in love with another. But when she appears on his doorstep, soaked through with rain and covered in mud, he allows himself to long once more for a future with the woman he still loves.

However, Thomas quickly realizes that Hannah is not who she was before. She has left London for a reason—a reason he cannot uncover. He longs for the truth they once so easily shared, but Hannah must first find the courage to rediscover herself—and what her heart truly desires.

This is a prequel novella for the clean and sweet Regency Cornish Romance series by Deborah M. Hathaway.
Although this friends to more romance is a stand-alone novella, the books are best enjoyed when read in order.


3 Pros for Outlining

There are many things within the authoring world that confuse me, but there’s even more that just makes sense. What might be a necessity for one writer might not even be on the radar for another and vice versa.

I didn’t even know about outlining until a year into my research process. I don’t remember whose Twitter account it was that eventually led me to KM Weiland’s but I came to appreciate her tips and guides and blogs. THEN I discovered that she was a published writer herself with several self-help books on the process – she isn’t just fiction. She’s non-fiction as well.

The more I went through her blog, Helping Writers Become Authors, the more I realized that I really was lacking direction. All I had was the idea, but no idea on how to get from point a to b to c and so on without just abandoning my story all together. From past experience I knew that was my biggest downfall and this time around I want to be published more than ever.

Some, more experienced writers are able to function without the outline structure. They’re the more free-spirited type of writer. The more artsy who has notes and post-its and every inch of their wall or notebook covered from top to bottom with random ideas. Then there’s me. I can’t do that. I need to have a clean work space, I need to be organized, and I need to know exactly where I’m going.

That’s why the outline concept appealed to me from the very beginning, so down below I will be pointing out more pros than cons on the method. I’m sure it’s been discussed on countless other blogs before, but these are just based on my own observations as I’m slowly working through my series.

  1. Some publishers request a copy of your outline.
    It wasn’t until I started looking through that Writer’s Guide book to publishers did I realize that some of those folks actually want a full copy of the outline for your work. I think I saw it pop up more for fiction publishers than non-fiction, but if you already have an outline started and your interested in submitting to a specific place, you don’t have to go back to the beginning of your novel and convert it into outline form. It’s already done and saves you several hours’ (or days, depending on how long your story is) of work. All you may need to do is format it if the publisher requests it and you’re all set!
  2. Even though you may deviate from your outline during the writing process you can always have multiple drafts of the outline.
    While I mentioned I don’t like having multiple notes and post-its earlier in this blog, I don’t shy away from writing in the margins of my physical copies. You should see the first two pages of the first draft of my overall outline – it’s a hot mess of reminders, tips and updates. I’m already working on adding things to my outline that I didn’t have in there before, like certain things a character does or an important subtle hint on what’s coming. I’ll just have to remind myself to print out a new copy once all is said and done and save that version as THE version so I don’t accidentally send a publisher the disjointed original.
  3. Gives you a guide from beginning to end.
    There really isn’t much that needs to be expanded upon with that statement. It says it all right there. An outline’s main purpose is to help guide you all the way through your story from, well, beginning to end [or lack thereof if you’re having a procrastination day!] I felt nearly completely lost without mine. Some days I still feel a bit lost because, let’s face it, I’m creating my own world for someone else to enjoy and that’s a lot of pressure!

Whether you outline or not, whether you fully read this blog post or not, I suspect that we’re all heading towards the same goal of becoming a published author for the first time or you already are and you’re just preparing for your next release. Regardless of your methodology, you need to find what works best for your pacing. Having an outline has helped give me a sense of direction and some sense completion. If you are a new writer I strongly suggest having a read of KM Weiland’s helpful series available on Amazon. (She has no idea I’m plugging this so I swear this isn’t an #ad or anything like that. I just think they’re incredibly useful!)

So don’t worry if you have a day of complete distraction and procrastination. Even seasoned authors have them! Just keep pressing on!