Manuscript Progress!

Book cover mock-up

I’m thrilled to say that the manuscript for the novel I’m currently working on was a finalist in a contest hosted by the Writers’ League of Texas, in the general fiction category.

I’m now going through a third full draft of The Knowledge of Sorrow and then I will start submitting it to agents. And Just for grins and because I heard an agent tell a group of writers that they should absolutely know what they want their book to look like, I mocked up the cover, above. What do you think? Here’s a synopsis of the novel for you to enjoy!

Elise Halloran is a woman who has suffered blows in her life, the most recent the simultaneous losses of her father and her husband. Her fiancé to lies and betrayal, her father to cancer. Not the beautiful, enjoy-every-minute-right-up-until-they-go-softly into-the-good-night kind you see in books and movies. But the protracted, ugly, kind that makes you wish you had the strength to ease the misery of the dying. Her father was her only living relative or so she thinks until a letter arrives from Ireland.

The condolence letter from Ireland arrives after Elise finds out that her husband of 11 years has impregnated a long colleague. The same husband who didn’t want to have children. Elise put aside her dreams of a family to make her marriage the best it could be for both of them. The next blow comes when the gynecologist tells her that she cannot have a baby on her own, as she planned. She’s waited too long and given up too much. The letter from a woman who knew her father was a vital distraction.

Determined to find out who this woman is and escape her life in Chicago, Elise travels to County Galway, Ireland to meet the mysterious Meara Scott. Once there, she is surprised that the person who meets her at the airport is not Ms. Scott, but a man named Wallace who seems to be the caretaker of the rundown manor house which Meara owns. Wallace dumps Elise off at the manor house with little information.

Alone for the first time since her husband’s bombshell, Elise lets the waves of grief pull at her. Her mother died decades ago and she missed both of her parents. One day, in the lane near the manor, she mets a small girl. Before she can find out anything about her, the little girl runs off.

Elise makes a friend in the town librarian, Ava, who encourages her to get out and meet some people. At a town gathering, she finds out that Wallace is the guardian of the little girl named Eveleen. The child has suffered even more losses than Elise and they are drawn together in their grief.

Wallace is another story and Elise finds him obnoxious and lax in his care of the child. Meara is still out of the country, so Elise tries to find answers in the old house. Unbeknownst to Elise, the house has its own secrets and the two-hundred-year-old portraits in the foyer just might be the key to discovering what they are. She searches the library and closets, finding books and journals that tell of the sad past of the manor house.

Meara finally arrives and she and Elsie meet for the first time. Meara expresses how much she admired Elise’s father, but it is obvious that the woman has a secret.

Will the secrets that Elise discovers damage the memories she has of her father? Will the relationship she develops with the child make her childlessness even more painful? Will she return to husband? Will she and Wallace call a truce? Stay tuned for more!

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