Book Jacket

 

rank 2839
word count 150150
date submitted 20.10.2008
date updated 31.12.2011
genres: Fiction, Romance, History, Crime
classification: moderate
complete

Come Again

Simon Law

A heady combination of food, wine, sex, love, intrigue, international politics and finance meet - violently - in a remote Tuscan mountain village.

 

Eddie is content. He has a house, in a remote Tuscan mountain village. His small patch of land provides vegetables, fruit, oil and, occasionally, a reasonably good wine - and a part time job at the University in Florence. He also has friends: in the valley and, little does he know it, beyond.

From that idyll to murder is a long way; encompassing, as it does, a wife intent on a vindictive divorce settlement, international politics, corruption, bribery, a complex money laundering scheme, a bank determined to destroy him … and an unlikely love affair, with a renegade Italian policewoman.

In the circumstances, it was fortunate Eddie had friends but it could not have been him - or any those friends - who actually pulled the trigger. They all had alibis, from the time that sixty people witnessed his wife storming from the restaurant, to when her body was discovered in the dark, unforgiving, forest, half her head blown away, 5 km distant.

 
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tags

fiction?, food & drink - lots of drink, italy, murder, political corruption, political fiction, tuscany

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Chapters

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* 24 *

 

 

Eddie’s second course arrived: rabbit umido, chunks of boney flesh stewed with olives accompanied by a tomato and mozzarella salad.  Eddie finished the entire bowl - and the rest of the wine.  He was not going to even leave the dregs for Luca.

 

Eddie took his coffee and grappa onto the patio.  There was an argument about to break out, amongst the card players, who had been gathering in the bar, after finishing their lunches, either at home or in the restaurant.  Eddie had heard it all before.  It involved the merits of two of the leading Italian Football clubs, Juventus and Fiorentina.  A realistic answer could have been found in the back pages of La Repubblica - but statistics were never what this argument was about.  It was an only slightly disguised political debate.  Fiorentina, being less than an hour’s drive away, was the local club but it tended to be supported by optimists with a Rightest political bent.  Juventes was favoured by supporters of the Left.  The problem for Eddie was that he had already scanned the newspaper’s sport’s section. Fiorentina were ten places ahead of Juventes in the league.  However the impetus for this particular debate arose from the fact that Fiorentina had, the previous evening been knocked out of the European Cup by the English club from London, Arsenal.  Arsenal, the argument was going, because they played in red, were obviously a socialist club ...  Nonsense of course - but that was not unusual in the bar, after a good lunch. Juventes, as almost always, had failed even to qualify for the competition - but that, according to the protagonist, was irrelevant.

 

Eddie was trying to work out what he was going to do.  He had heard nothing from Vanessa since she had stormed out of their bedroom at the hotel.  He had learned little or nothing from her e-mails, except that she was involved in a one way dialogue with an ex-banker - ex-Tory.  Eddie could not even work out what Atkinson was saying to her - let alone why she seemed never to answer his e-mails.  There seemed little logic in anything that was going on - especially the introduction of Marinella as a, prospective, new romantic interest for him.

 

Eddie decided that as there was nothing that he could do about either Vanessa ... or about Marinella, he may as well use his time constructively, by clearing up his land.  He tapped his pocket for his pipe - then realised that he had left it in his flimsy raincoat, at the house.  He neither could be bothered, nor really wanted to walk back to get it.  Eddie took his empty cup and glass back into the bar.  The ‘football discussion’ was becoming inflamed everybody; everybody except Luca who was watching with a bemused detachment from behind his counter, seemed to be involved.  The cards, from the game, had been abandoned in the middle of the table while the argument took precedence.  Eddie left them to it and walked up the stairs.  He paused by the lavatory and wondered, for a moment, once again, about the German, before he continued up the stairs.

 

Michelle was perched on the table in the middle of the kitchen.  He was sweating.  It looked as if almost every pot, pan and utensil had been used for that day’s lunch.  They were piled in a great heap in the sink, waiting for someone to get round to scrubbing them up and ready for dinner.  Lunch had, it seemed, been busier than Eddie realised.

 

“Been hard at it, then?” Eddie asked from the doorway.

 

Michelle looked up and smiled.  He theatrically wiped the sweat from his brow and flicked his hand towards the floor.

 

“Not really - a bit,” he corrected himself.  “I made a mistake.  I thought that I might get some of the work done ... the ...”

 

“Prep?” Eddie suggested the English word.

 

“Prep,” agreed Michelle, “prep, for the weekend, I thought I might get some of that done - on a quiet day.”

 

“Not so quiet, though?”

 

“Not too bad but Rachel took off, before lunch really started, and Luca has been sulking, so I got no help at all.”

 

“No change there,” Eddie tried to encourage Michelle.

 

Michelle winked at Eddie.  They both knew that was not true.  Michelle might be the skill but it was Rachel who did the real running around and pushing.

 

“What do you want, then?” Michelle asked.

 

“Got some papers?”  Michelle did not understand.  Eddie mimed rolling a cigarette.   “Fag papers?”

 

“Oh,” Michelle realised and reached into the tunic of his whites.  “Only this pack.  How many you want?”

 

“Two, three.  I left the pipe at the house,” Eddie explained.

 

Michelle stripped five or six papers from the pack and, without leaving his perch, offered them to Eddie who was forced to go and collect them.  Eddie stuffed the proffered papers into the top pocket of his jacket.

 

“Thanks,” said Eddie and began to back out of the kitchen.

 

“You going to your shed?”

 

“A bit of work.”

 

“Then a long smoke?”

 

“Maybe,” Eddie shrugged.  He was beginning to think of doing something else but the thought had not quite resolved itself.  “Thanks,” Eddie repeated.

 

“You said,” said Michelle.

 

Eddie nodded and left the kitchen.  Just out of view, he stopped - then turned back.  Michelle was staring blankly at the wall opposite him.  He really did look worn-out.

 

“I meant, thanks for everything,” said Eddie.

 

Michelle looked up for a moment, then, without words, and with a tired arm, waved Eddie away.

 

Eddie pulled his rake from the ‘lock-up’ and set about gathering the fallen branches into a neat pile.  There were fewer falls than he had thought so it took him even less time than he had expected and gave him less time to come to a decision about what he had been thinking about.  The branches were ready for the fire that he planned in the next day or two - when they had had a chance to dry out a bit.  Eddie returned the rake to the shed and pulled a bag of marijuana from the stove.  He had given one pack to Michelle, but there was still plenty left.  They would not have to consider making a purchase until well after Christmas, though it irked Eddie that he was unable to grow enough, not without it becoming over-obvious, to be self-sufficient.   Harry had been ... that thought again ... but he had more land and it was more discreet than Eddie’s track by the road.

 

As Eddie walked up the track he inspected and approved his work.  Nobody would be complaining about the state of his land, not until the next wind.  He looked up to where he could see the roof of his house - then down to where he may have been able to see Mary’s, if it were not for the rotting chestnuts and pines.  Somebody, someday, was going to have to do something about them, before a falling branch caused a serious injury.  It did happen and then there were protracted investigations to try and find out whom the land belonged to - and court cases that sometimes resulted in heavy settlements.  At least, Eddie thought, someone was making money from this land - even if most of it went to the lawyers.

 

Eddie was still undecided as to what to do.  He did not want to sit about the house trying to fathom the unfathomable.  He did not really want to return to the bar.  Michelle had made it clear that there were no answers there, and if he did he would only drink too much.  What he had been thinking about was talking with Mary.  He had not seen her since the afternoon that Vanessa had arrived  - and Mary had dropped the first of the bombshells on him.  Eddie had no desire to re-open that can of worms - but now there was more that had been added to the confused mess that he was becoming entangled in.  He needed to talk to someone, someone who might be able and willing to throw some light into the shadows that were encroaching on him.

 

Mary was not the least biased of audiences but his options were running out and if she new anything about Marinella Eddie was sure that he could persuade her to talk.

 

 

Chapters

24

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stephen racket wrote 1026 days ago

The pitches appealed so I read the first couple of chapters. I thought the writing was good, full of excellent description and visuals. Eddie makes for an interesting character, and the marriage going stale is well related. There was a bit too much back-story for my taste, with no obvious hook to tempt the reader to go further. A lot of paragraphs start with a name, perhaps varying beginnings would be beneficial? Having said that, it is very readable and is going on my WL as I am curious about how things develop. Good luck with this.

ClaireLyman wrote 1083 days ago

I see the words "international politics" and I'm instantly drawn to this - I like romantic novels to pack a bit of a punch and that does it for me!

curiousturtle wrote 1138 days ago

Simon,

I started reading your Opus and thought I would give you my cent and half:

The first thing that jumps here is the style. Is a moment by moment perception told rather than shown, where every moment is a dangling act promising the next to have the same urgency....

..... and that you deliver.

The jewel of the narrative however is the use of personal history to paint the psychological map of your central character: Eddie. The ebbs and flows as he goes about reconciling an attraction that seems to develop into a psychological dependency....

......and it does a complex psychological portrait of a man that for love seem willing to do almost anything, manifest itself


Some Minor/Minorest/Minormost points:

"vivid greens" "comfortable sofa" "surprisingly young" "virtually immaculate"
I would also cut a bit on the modifiers
why?
because as Updike said: "the modern reader can fill in the blanks"

for ex: "incessant rain that had fallen in the last seven days"
is "incessant" necessary? I mean...it has been falling for 7 days?...lol

Let me know if that helps,

Overall, wonderful

david

M. A. McRae. wrote 1149 days ago

A good story, and well written. The occasional typo which I'm sure you'll pick up on your next edit. Occasionally, commas interrupted phrases, but I only actually noticed that at the very start. Neverthelss, it is worth being aware of the next time you check over your work. A particular strengths is your gift for description, and a more important one for the story, is your understanding of the dynamics of relationships. I commend you on this work. To be backed, Marj.

Bandof1 wrote 1163 days ago

Your characters have a running honesty with each other through their dialog. The story is interesting and I want to continue the reading beyond the 6th chapter. I have placed you on my bookshelf and rated it as well. I look forward to your input on "Just Out of Sight". I hope for the best for us all.
Craig (Bandof1)

Simon Law wrote 1168 days ago


Hampstead,
(You know I can get on a bus from outside where I am staying to Highgate village, have a pint in The Flask and walk across the heath to the Flask, Hampstead and have a second pint, get on a train and return, all inside 2 hours? I know because I do – often.)

Thank you very much for your kind words. At one time Come Again was in the 800s. However, when in Italy getting on-line is difficult and expensive. Time there is also at a premium. I also got a little fed up with the way that Authonomy was (/is?) working. The books plummeted. I guess part of the reason is because I also do not respond to the “I will back yours – if you back mine” requests. They struck me as being dishonest.

If people back or comment, on mine, I do have a look at their books. I tend to look rather than put on watch - then put them on the bookcase if I am reading – or at least picking at. “Sometime … “ is being picked at and enjoyed.

I am not sure what I will be able to do when I get home. Clearly throwing the book into the pool is not working. The number of messages I am now getting is far lower than last time I was playing this game but that may be down to the rules changing – something that needed to be done.

The only really progressive thing that I can do is to pass on books of ‘the good people’ to those I am in touch with. I have done so with yours. I hope the results are productive. At least the books are getting looked at – rather than being passed about like so many football cards.

Best, and thanks again,
SL

Simon Law wrote 1168 days ago

Hampstead,
(You know I can get on a bus from outside where I am staying to Highgate village, have a pint in The Flask and walk across the heath to the Flask, Hampstead and have a second pint, get on a train and return, all inside 2 hours? I know because I do – often.)

Thank you very much for your kind words. At one time Come Again was in the 800s. However, when in Italy getting on-line is difficult and expensive. Time there is also at a premium. I also got a little fed up with the way that Authonomy was (/is?) working. The books plummeted. I guess part of the reason is because I also do not respond to the “I will back yours – if you back mine” requests. They struck me as being dishonest.

If people back or comment, on mine, I do have a look at their books. I tend to look rather than put on watch - then put them on the bookcase if I am reading – or at least picking at. “Sometime … “ is being picked at and enjoyed.

I am not sure what I will be able to do when I get home. Clearly throwing the book into the pool is not working. The number of messages I am now getting is far lower than last time I was playing this game but that may be down to the rules changing – something that needed to be done.

The only really progressive thing that I can do is to pass on books of ‘the good people’ to those I am in touch with. I have done so with yours. I hope the results are productive. At least the books are getting looked at – rather than being passed about like so many football cards.

Best, and thanks again,
SL

Hampstead wrote 1168 days ago

I REFUSE TO UNDERSTAND how such a novel, with a wonderful pitch and extremely well-written, can be so low down in the ratings.
Eddie is a character I can relate to, and I am eager to see how the story develops. Also Vanessa, from the description, is someone we immediately loathe; I assume that was your intention.
My advice to you, Simon, is that you get more active on Authonomy and ask others to read your book. It is, sadly, the only way we can make progress here. it is better than many which have already made it to the ED.

Michael Clifford

Sometime in Andalusia

www.ten-minute-stories.com

A. Zoomer wrote 1174 days ago

COME AGAIN

Chapter One is good backstory but I want action.

Nitpics:
1st sentence - I tripped over 'with which'
it is five out of ten.
Your use of commas is questionable, too many times to comment.

The backstory suggests a story I want to read but I want to be reading it.

I think this has interesting potential. So I have starred it and read more and comment once it gets onto my shelf.
A Zoomer

A. Zoomer wrote 1174 days ago

COME AGAIN

Dear SL,
The pitch is enticing so I will read a couple of chapters for sure.
BUT, come again the 2nd paragraph of the long pitch is is missing something at the end of beyond?
a zoomer

Simon Law wrote 1177 days ago

Thanks, after being away from the site for so long every little helps. If you get a chance have a look at the last chapter of The Last ... I do think you might enjoy it. There are also other stories that are set in The Marquess,Prince of Wales, Kings Head ...
Thanks again,
SL

OK I think I have backed it now! And I have rated it. hope the rewrite goes well.
Simon(not Law)

Hugo Bishop wrote 1177 days ago

OK I think I have backed it now! And I have rated it. hope the rewrite goes well.
Simon(not Law)

Simon Law wrote 1181 days ago

You could have backed the book!
S

Simon,

I was glad to find that you were alive and well; And thriving in the Italian hills. And I was very pleased to hear that you had expanded you're family. I have enjoyed your Eddie and thought he had real potential. but what are you doing with him now?
You should remember me from my short stay with the Marquess in 2005 and my "disagreement" with mad Tony!

Good luck with it all Simon (that's me not you)

PS Glad to see you can still be as Irascible as ever

Simon Law wrote 1182 days ago

God, yes, how sweet. Funnily enough you caught me at the right time. Not in London, my son has started (pre)school so we have to be (mostly) here. We were there for a month, over Christmas New year ... but .. I guess that is the way that it is. I have not been anywhere near Authonomy for months. The idea was that I was to do a major rewite and ... actually I have no idea but the rewrite has started and am (almost) up to chapter 10. Pklease stay in touch, your interest has helped in the old productivity front.
Best,
Simon.

Simon,

I was glad to find that you were alive and well; And thriving in the Italian hills. And I was very pleased to hear that you had expanded you're family. I have enjoyed your Eddie and thought he had real potential. but what are you doing with him now?
You should remember me from my short stay with the Marquess in 2005 and my "disagreement" with mad Tony!

Good luck with it all Simon (that's me not you)

PS Glad to see you can still be as Irascible as ever

Hugo Bishop wrote 1182 days ago

Simon,

I was glad to find that you were alive and well; And thriving in the Italian hills. And I was very pleased to hear that you had expanded you're family. I have enjoyed your Eddie and thought he had real potential. but what are you doing with him now?
You should remember me from my short stay with the Marquess in 2005 and my "disagreement" with mad Tony!

Good luck with it all Simon (that's me not you)

PS Glad to see you can still be as Irascible as ever

Simon Law wrote 1312 days ago

Thank you for the kindness of spending so much time with Eddie and Vanessa. It is slow. That is the way that it is. The real action is about to start but I would not want to inflict that upon you - not unless you really want.

I also realise that it needs work - work that I would love to do - but for looking after my son - who is now learning .... no you do not want to know that.

You also cheered me because of my recent experiences: "I will back if ..." then to discover that it has been on a bookshelf for 0.2 secs.

I am sorry that it will take me a little time to get to yours - internet connect is dreadful up here - even when I get the chance to escape full-time childcare.

Thank you again,

Simon Law

I think the strength here is your characters. You do very well to bring out who they are and to build the tention between them...especially , with Eddie and Vanassa. I did think that some of the language was a bit awkward. In several places the sentences seemed a bit clunky, where the wording was stumbled. It really took away from the flow of the read.

I stopped at the end of chapter 4 and was still waiting to find a real sense of the story. Again, the characters were very stong and that might be exactly what you are going for here. Certainly, a number of writers have made a career by focusing on relationships over story and I felt like that's what I was seeing here.

Lockjaw

Lockjaw Lipssealed wrote 1312 days ago

I think the strength here is your characters. You do very well to bring out who they are and to build the tention between them...especially , with Eddie and Vanassa. I did think that some of the language was a bit awkward. In several places the sentences seemed a bit clunky, where the wording was stumbled. It really took away from the flow of the read.

I stopped at the end of chapter 4 and was still waiting to find a real sense of the story. Again, the characters were very stong and that might be exactly what you are going for here. Certainly, a number of writers have made a career by focusing on relationships over story and I felt like that's what I was seeing here.

Lockjaw

Simon Law wrote 1314 days ago

Thank you so much.
Yes, I know about the Eddie problem. I was supposed to sort it during the summer - but ended up with looking after the boy for far longer than I had thought was going to happen and ...
Well, you know.
WILL do it asap.
Thanks again.
Will get back to you,
Simon Law.

SubtleKnife wrote 1314 days ago

Too many Eddies, and I don't mean turbulence in the plot, which looks fine to me. As there is only one person present in your opening, you could use his name once, then simply 'he' until someone else comes on the scene, which would help with the flow. I like the plot, which is why I've backed your story, but you need to work on the narrative to draw your reader further into it. At the moment, I think you're holding him/her at arm's length when we should be getting down and dirty.

I think, also, your pacing would be improved by less back story and more action right at the beginning.

Cheers! -Liz (Meggie Blackthorn)

zan wrote 1359 days ago

Come Again

Simon Law

Backed ages ago Simon as I liked your pitches and only had the chance to dip into your chapters recently. Eddie seems like a credible character and I see a lot of potential here, in my humble opinion. Good luck.

klouholmes wrote 1377 days ago

Hi Simon, It turns out that Eddie’s indolent mood is justified. I found the relationship between him and Rachel immersing. His irritation at Mary coming also shows another side and the hints about the Canada business deal enhance. I enjoyed this and because it’s a realistic view of someone who seems to have it made. Happy to shelve – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

Simon Law wrote 1388 days ago

Thank you for your kindness. I am stranded in London for the next few days and when I get home will be without net access for a few days more. That is the way it is. I will come back to you as soon as I can and am planning on a major rewite in the weeks following.

Best, and again, thanks,
SL

I love how you did chapter one. It gives us an insight on whats to come about that characters, how they met, what were they life stories and their relationship. Very insightful i may add. Although i did she a few errors, or idk if they are errors, but i know that organize isn't spelled with a 's'. I also saw random letters in there. Idk if that's a form of writing but if it is then more power to you. Looking forward to chapter 2
Xenton- W.M.

Xenton06 wrote 1388 days ago

I love how you did chapter one. It gives us an insight on whats to come about that characters, how they met, what were they life stories and their relationship. Very insightful i may add. Although i did she a few errors, or idk if they are errors, but i know that organize isn't spelled with a 's'. I also saw random letters in there. Idk if that's a form of writing but if it is then more power to you. Looking forward to chapter 2
Xenton- W.M.

L.F. Moore wrote 1395 days ago

You take us straight into the MCs pov in an effective way, showing us the landscape coloured from his perspective. This is a good emotional hook.
You also introduce Vanessa in a striking way 'not even Vanessa' - the negative is a great hook too. Shows us her relation to him and that he has some secrets.
My main structural comment on this is that I'd like the opening chapter of a novel described as a thriller to start in a more exciting, action-based manner. He's looking over a balcony having coffee. It's nice, but possibly not dramatic enough to make the reader confident that you will deliver on the promise of the blurb.
I think this could be easily solved by 'starting' your story in a later, more dramatic chapter and redistributing the material contained in chapter one if necessary. William Golding sliced off the original first chapter of his Lord of the Flies, and the results are superb.
Melanie Kendry The Boy Time Forgot

para 3 final line [notQ] > not

Simon Law wrote 1404 days ago

Thank you SuzieQ.
I mean that I really do - but I am afraid you have got the wrong person.
Me and god are not on the best of terms - never really have.
In debt to your kindness I will look at your TWO memoir book but even before looking suspect you would appreciate silence rather than a comment.
Simon Law

Dear Simon, I love your intriguing story - will it all turn out okay with all these witnesses? - I daren't say. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

SusieGulick wrote 1404 days ago

Dear Simon, I love your intriguing story - will it all turn out okay with all these witnesses (Eddie's friends & 60 people who witnessed his wife storming from the restaurant)? - I daren't say. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

Simon Law wrote 1407 days ago

Thank you for your comments. They are appreciated.
Funny that they seem to link with what you said about your books.
I chose The Letterman Project over The Domino Effect because the message of the latter seemed well (possibly too well) nailed by your introduction.
I have read the first three of four of the neatly brief chapters of Domino.
It seems to me that we both have a problem with getting on with it.
Come Again is due for a severe edit - later this Summer - when there is les hard labour and I can share the care duties for my son.
It will be done - and I will get back to you about Domino.
Again, thanks,
SL

Andrew.C.Wilson wrote 1407 days ago

Simon, I'm going to be absolutly blunt here, I found your first chapter a struggle, it didn't live up to your clip, however as you progressed through your story the real you seemed to come out, it flowed more naturally, felt right and more so, as you progress through your story, I , the reader relaxed into the story and , personally speaking really got into it, once you relax as a writer, I as as reader did so aswell and what a read it turned out to be, you have a lot going on here, a lot of insight and it shows, I would buy and read your books with pleasure, please keep at it , Kind regards, Andy.

Simon Law wrote 1407 days ago

Thank you.
You, and another, it appears, have saved me from a rather nasty downslope.
Please pass it on!
SL

I really enjoyed this read. It was very intriguing and well written. It really makes you want to continue to read the novel.
Sofia, (The Lost Inheritance)

love2write2 wrote 1407 days ago

I really enjoyed this read. It was very intriguing and well written. It really makes you want to continue to read the novel.
Sofia, (The Lost Inheritance)

CraigD wrote 1410 days ago

Overall nicely written. You've got one paragraph in Chap. 1 in which almost every sentence starts with 'he', followed by a graph in which almost every sentence starts with 'she.' That causes a lot of sameness within the sentence structure. But mostly the writing is quite good, particularly the descriptions. Since I back or not based on quality of writing, after reading at least one chapter, I will back you based on that.
Have a good day.
Craig

Simon Law wrote 1419 days ago

Thank you so much for a very dedicated read.

Bit strange to say that round here but I am very greatfull.

I plan a serious rewrite some time after the Spring work is done on the campi and when we start to get visitors - so I am not tottaly responsible for the 2 year old.

I am sorry that Grumblebug is on a reverse.

(Although not my thing) I will back in the hope that some of my visitors may misguidedly think I like nice things too.

THANK YOU.
Simon Law


Simon,

As promised I have 'Come Again' to finish your book by the end of May. Phew just got it in there too! I love all of it from the the food( i think i gained so much weight...), the natural beauty of the mountains, the local colour...I could go on...A beautifully written slow moving yet intensely hypnotising book. Thanks so much for putting the whole thing up on this site.
:)
Diane

is there going to be a sequel? there really should you know.....

Diane60 wrote 1419 days ago

Simon,

As promised I have 'Come Again' to finish your book by the end of May. Phew just got it in there too! I love all of it from the the food( i think i gained so much weight...), the natural beauty of the mountains, the local colour...I could go on...A beautifully written slow moving yet intensely hypnotising book. Thanks so much for putting the whole thing up on this site.
:)
Diane

is there going to be a sequel? there really should you know.....

Simon Law wrote 1419 days ago

Thanks for your comments.
I get what you say about the view piece - problem is that it is a theme.
Because I am switching between Apple and Word odd additions to words occasionally crop up.
I am planning a big rewrite but Spring is a particularly busy time and I need to cut a few days in which to even start it.
Not easy with having to look after a 2 and a half year old - as well as all the other stuff.
Thanks again,
Simon Law

'...he saw all the change in the one view that he needed'

read a bit awkwardly to me. I would assume the meaning is 'he saw all the change he needed in the one view' which you could say a number of ways bu tthe one you've chosen seems a little clumsy.

I didn't inderstand 'one of the 5 of the 10...'

'....notQ for another 8 months'
not sure what notQ means. Typo?

It reads well but the start feels a bit slow and unfocused. The characterisations are very good, and the backstory is quite interesting, but I think having him standing around staring at the scenery while he thinks back is a little troo static. If you could give him something to do, some physical action maybe, even if it's cleaning up or making dinner, i think it would help.

The sense of place and the sense of loss are conveyed very well. Backed.

Mooderino wrote 1420 days ago

'...he saw all the change in the one view that he needed'
read a bit awkwardly to me. I would assume the meaning is 'he saw all the change he needed in the one view' which you could say a number of ways bu tthe one you've chosen seems a little clumsy.

I didn't inderstand 'one of the 5 of the 10...'

'....notQ for another 8 months'
not sure what notQ means. Typo?

It reads well but the start feels a bit slow and unfocused. The characterisations are very good, and the backstory is quite interesting, but I think having him standing around staring at the scenery while he thinks back is a little troo static. If you could give him something to do, some physical action maybe, even if it's cleaning up or making dinner, i think it would help.

The sense of place and the sense of loss are conveyed very well. Backed.

Simon Law wrote 1424 days ago

Thinking about what you wrote really frightens me:
"woken" British?
Eh?
It is English.
Awoken is something that might have been uttered (English) on the Mayflower.
English is a living language.
Britain is a collection of cultures.
The Irish, Welsh and Scots (all British, by the way) have their own language - as do the Cornish.
What Americans speak is up to them / you.
I appreciate crits but NOT so ignorant as yours clearly is.
What is the percentage of Americans who own passports?
Where do they see their culture based?
Are they magpies?
And how dare they ...
You get the drift?
I am very angry with what you wrote.
Try me again if you want - but the language I speak - and try to write - is English.
Eh?
SL

Simon Law wrote 1424 days ago

Thank you for your seriously in depth crit.
I do appreciate it because, when I have time between child, house and agricultural work I AM going to have a go at editing "Come Again'.

I would pick up on the confusion between English and American - but boy needs feeding.

But, I think, I was directing you to the last chapter of the second book, "The Last Syllable' - it is tighter in a way that I think you might appreciate.

I do appreciate your comments - but - as I said have little time - at present - to address them.
Ta,
Simon Clayton.

Simon, you asked that I look at your last chapter. Here's my take on it. I didn't do the whole chapter cause what I saw was just more of the same.

Eddie was woken (is this British? It's kind of a jarring word for Americans. I would have used 'awakened') by the sound of a siren, passing, (don't need the commas) close by. He knew that (delete 'that') he could not (maybe just my personal preference, but try using more contractions for a more 'real life' feel) be at his house. He remembered where he was the previous evening and realised where he, probably, was (I don't think you need those commas. I'd add 'now' at the end of that sentence). It was not (contraction?) the first time that (delete 'that') it had happened: that he had had to stay at Artillio’s. The room was dark and he was not alone. For a brief moment he thought - he hoped - (I'd delete 'he' and use em dashes instead of dashes) that Marinella had come, after all. He was quickly disabused (not fond of disabused) of this when a strong and very hairy arm fell across his chest. Michelle snored, loudly. Softer breathing came from the sofa that Eddie could just make out, in the dim light, in the corner of the room. Aldo, he realised, had also stayed. (I turn these last 2 sentences around some way so they started with, 'In the dim light...' and didn't use 'that Eddie could...')
Eddie pulled himself from under the weight of Michelle’s arm and slipped out of bed. He found the bathroom and washed the sleep from his eyes. There were already sounds of activity coming from the bar. It must have been later than Eddie (a lot of 'Eddies' - how about 'he' a few times instead, although you have 'he' a lot also) thought. He made his way down the stairs.
Luca was serving breakfasts of coffee and croissants to those on their way to work. He nodded an acknowledgement (kinda clunky to me - how bout just 'nodded?') to Eddie as he (which one of them came through the door?) came through the door that was clearly marked as ‘Private - Staff Only’.
“Ready in a minute,” Luca, Michelle’s barman, (since you already mentioned Luca, I assumed we already knew who he was. If not, then you might want to rethink 'Luca was serving breakfast...' ) said. “The boss said that you would want a grappa. I think he said you would need a grappa.” Luca reached for the bottle.
Eddie did not disabuse (not fond of 'disabuse') the barman, despite the fact that he did not feel as awful as he knew he should. (I'd think about more contractions - but that's just my style and may not fit yours.)

Groaner wrote 1425 days ago

Simon, you asked that I look at your last chapter. Here's my take on it. I didn't do the whole chapter cause what I saw was just more of the same.

Eddie was woken (is this British? It's kind of a jarring word for Americans. I would have used 'awakened') by the sound of a siren, passing, (don't need the commas) close by. He knew that (delete 'that') he could not (maybe just my personal preference, but try using more contractions for a more 'real life' feel) be at his house. He remembered where he was the previous evening and realised where he, probably, was (I don't think you need those commas. I'd add 'now' at the end of that sentence). It was not (contraction?) the first time that (delete 'that') it had happened: that he had had to stay at Artillio’s. The room was dark and he was not alone. For a brief moment he thought - he hoped - (I'd delete 'he' and use em dashes instead of dashes) that Marinella had come, after all. He was quickly disabused (not fond of disabused) of this when a strong and very hairy arm fell across his chest. Michelle snored, loudly. Softer breathing came from the sofa that Eddie could just make out, in the dim light, in the corner of the room. Aldo, he realised, had also stayed. (I turn these last 2 sentences around some way so they started with, 'In the dim light...' and didn't use 'that Eddie could...')
Eddie pulled himself from under the weight of Michelle’s arm and slipped out of bed. He found the bathroom and washed the sleep from his eyes. There were already sounds of activity coming from the bar. It must have been later than Eddie (a lot of 'Eddies' - how about 'he' a few times instead, although you have 'he' a lot also) thought. He made his way down the stairs.
Luca was serving breakfasts of coffee and croissants to those on their way to work. He nodded an acknowledgement (kinda clunky to me - how bout just 'nodded?') to Eddie as he (which one of them came through the door?) came through the door that was clearly marked as ‘Private - Staff Only’.
“Ready in a minute,” Luca, Michelle’s barman, (since you already mentioned Luca, I assumed we already knew who he was. If not, then you might want to rethink 'Luca was serving breakfast...' ) said. “The boss said that you would want a grappa. I think he said you would need a grappa.” Luca reached for the bottle.
Eddie did not disabuse (not fond of 'disabuse') the barman, despite the fact that he did not feel as awful as he knew he should. (I'd think about more contractions - but that's just my style and may not fit yours.)

Luke Bramley wrote 1428 days ago

Love it, backed with pleasure, read chapters 1, 28 and 29. Tuscany infused tension; I am genuinely riveted and must know what's going on between Eddie and Vanessa! If I was going to offer one tip, I'd say, starting so many sentences with the subject: Eddie ... can feel a little stilted. The rest is pure Magic. Luke. The Kingdom Within.

LizSchulte wrote 1440 days ago

You have done a great job capturing the beauty of Tuscany. The characters are well defined and engrossing. I only had time to read a few chapters but I enjoyed them every much!

Liz
Dark Corners

Simon Law wrote 1442 days ago

I must have told you that you is a darlin' not sure about a cover. Had one once but tricky getting an appropriate.


This novel has everything--backed!

(A cover for this fine book is critical, though, because it helps to distinguish it from the pack...as it deserves to be.)

Simon Law wrote 1445 days ago

You are, as they say in the ol' country a top bird.
I WILL get to Eye of Erasmus as soon as my present list is resolved.
I have been away too long.
SL

I'm sure I read the Last Syllable, so I thought I would have a crack at this one, which I found by chance I might add.
Excellent piece of writing again, my congratulations. No nit pics from me as my work could do with a good edit anyway.
Backed for you with pleasure.
Teresa
Eye of Erasmus.

Wilma1 wrote 1468 days ago

A well honed piece of work with a tale that grips the reader by the throat. This coupled with your strong and detailed descriptions could put you on a fast track to the ED desk. Backed with pleasure.

Wilma1
Knowing Liam Riley

Burgio wrote 1470 days ago

This is a good story. I've been in Tuscany only once but I loved it so reading this was a pleasant refresher of how beautiful the countryside is there. I like the way you start this story slowly - then let it blossom into a murder mystery. Your writing style adds to the strength of this; it's clear and engaging. Kept me reading to see how this all turned out. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

A Knight wrote 1470 days ago

Simon,

I backed this book more than a fortnight ago, and I am ashamed to admit I have only just got around to commenting on this compelling, gripping piece of work. Your descriptions are gritty and realistic, bringing us into the world you have created and dragging us along through the story. Brillaint work.

o wish I had something constructive and helpful to say, but I'm at a loss. You could make a living, if not a fortune, off of writing, that much is obvious.

Abi xxx
"Everyone knows the rule: Stay inside the Wall, but Tisha believes rules are made to be broken." - Relic

Francesco wrote 1470 days ago

Backed with pleasure! Good Luck!!
A look at Sicilian Shadows would be greatly appreciated.
Frank.
If you back my work, you may also want to approach BJD (a big supporter of Sicilian Shadows) for a further read and possible backing of your book.

Beval wrote 1476 days ago

The beginning was excellent, you painted a picture of a beautiful place and a man content with both it and his life. As the plot began to develop and you began to bring in hints of Vanessa I found myself wishing things were happening just a little quicker. The pace reflects the way of life surrounding Eddie, but I think it wouldn't harm the charm of the work to speed things up a trifle.
Vanessa's character is well established before we actually meet her, the career, the baby that wasn't her husband's and the attitude to the house. When she arrives she is happy to have sex with him knowing she is going to divorce him. No wonder she wants to be an MP, she has all the moral virtues we've come to expect from our politicans.
The dialogue is good and the subtle hints of a plot are well done. Killing Vanessa seems an admirable idea to me, I thought she deserved what she got:-)
I would urge you to edit this, there's an over use of the word "that" if nothing else, but I think it would make an enjoyable read even better if it was tightened up.

Telegraph wrote 1479 days ago

This is a awesome read. Well polished with charcters and diolouge that are powerfully crafted. C W Shelved.

Diane60 wrote 1479 days ago

Simon,
a piece of skillful writing. Have only read the one chapter and i can promise I will 'come again' in May to finish the whole book. Even though we haven't met Vanessa yet you have drawn a part of her out and I feel i could recognise her easily.
I like the casual way the day progresses and the throw away lines about housekeeping and the zinger at the end that Eddie thinks he is loosing Vanessa. It compels the reader to continue...
will back it with pleasure

Diane

Simon Law wrote 1481 days ago

Thank you for your kindness.
I love it - despite the fact that I am stranded in London and with air-fares rocketing ...
I will try to do my best.
S

Great descriptions and dialogue. I think you're a very talented writer and this story really grabbed me. I like the characters and am invested in what happens to them. I have always wanted to go to Tuscany so that added a little extra incentive for me. You really made it come alive and it's just like I've imagined it. I truly enjoyed what I read here, you've got something special in this.

Missy
Mark of Eternity

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