Lately I have been thinking again about the Lynchcliffe brand. I am currently working on Prescription for Romance: Hamish George’s Story which is requiring a lot of research into life at University of Medical School and the course syllabuses of the 1880s when Hamish would have been studying.
WARNING: This blog post contains what will be spoilers for those not familiar with the main Lynchcliffe Cuckoo trilogy.
I have come up with an idea for a book containing three novellas which present alternative scenarios to the events of the main Lynchcliffe Cuckoo trilogy. This one will really only be for people who have some familiarity with the series and characters.
COURAGE OF CONVICTION (Working title)
This story takes place mainly in 1913 although the opening will be in April 1912. It offers an alternative imagining that Celia Trevelyan falls in love with her friend, Dr Jameson, in New York and agrees to marry him so she can return to England on his passport to make peace with Helena. Whether they will decide the marriage is for keeps or conveniently divorce remains to be decided.
PLAYING FOR KEEPS (Working title)
This story imagines that Margaret and Franklin slept together before she found out that she was not Lady Lynchcliffe’s niece. Further to that she gets pregnant. How would she and Franklin have dealt with this?
I have not yet thought of a third alternative scenario although there are currently several running through my mind.
This is a short excerpt from the first story COURAGE OF CONVICTION (Working title)
The panic was visible; several of the more well-to-do first class passengers on RMS Titanic were heading to the decks. It was a bitterly cold night and Celia, Lady Trevelyan shivered as she stepped up on the slippery deck, her husband Lord Trevelyan close behind her.
This was the deck where the lifeboats were and looking out into the darkness Celia could see people scrambling overboard. Some passengers were climbing confidently over the edge of the deck, others having to be helped as they were gripped by the cold and understandable fear. The night was still and Celia could hear the cries of people behind her.
“Women and children first.” The crew were shouting.
Celia clung to George tightly and he held her in turn. Her face was pale; her hazel eyes wide with trepidation.
“Celia darling, I want you to take a place.” He whispered.
“I can’t leave you George. You are everything to me. You are the only reason I am not terrified out of my wits.”
“You are everything to me too, Celia. That is why I want you to have a chance at life. I am an old man now but you are still young and attractive. I want you to have a life and I want you to make peace with Helena. I also want you to find someone else.”
“How can I George?”
“Celia, you have done so well overcoming your issues with regard to intimate matters. The right man will be patient with you for not all men are monsters.”
“I know George, you taught me that and my father also was an example of a good decent man. But I don’t want to leave you.”
“I know darling Celia but if you won’t go for yourself please go for me. I love you and I want you to be safe.”
“I love you too George.”
”Make peace with your sister. I know you miss her.”
“I do but I am so afraid.”
“You have come through things most women will never have to endure, Celia, and because of that I know you have a steel core of strength.”
“I know Helena did what was expected of her as a wife, she defended her husband and his father. “
“I know you miss her, Celia so make your peace.”
“Are you coming madam?” One of the Titanic crew members was nearby. Celia swallowed. “Yes I’m coming.”
She kissed George hard on the mouth and looked deep into his eyes.
“I love you.” She mouthed.
Celia gathered up her skirts and allowed the two crew men to help her over the side of the ship. She was shaking as she climbed down the rope ladder.
“Don’t look down.” The crew man said. “When you get to the right place you will be helped aboard.”
Celia did as he said. She was shivering for she hadn’t realised just how cold it was before she got near the dark waters of the Atlantic. A man in the lifeboat helped her off the ladder and helped her sit.
Celia saw George look over the side and wished with all her heart he was coming with her. He had taken care of her and been her security for so long that the thought of life without him was almost intolerable. She looked up and waved and he waved back as the lifeboat began to pull away.
It was the last she was ever to see of her beloved Lord Trevelyan.
I will be working on all the stories mentioned here in the next few months which will make me “right busy” as Lewis Franklin would say.
In the meantime you can get your hands on The Complete Lynchcliffe Cuckoo trilogy