Lynchcliffe: Seasons of the Heart

My latest Lynchcliffe project is  a book of stories set around what I term the seasons of the heart. This is the foreword of the volume.


The Lynchcliffe series is set in the days long before climate change and global warming were a social or ecological concern. Back then seasons were clearly defined; cool balmy springs, warm to hot summers, damp autumns and cold winters. The seasons and weather have been immortalised in countless songs and poems often used as a metaphors for the myriad of emotions humans experience.

With this theme in mind I have written the stories in this volume to match the emotions of the human heart. Spring symbolises new discoveries and blossoming romance, summer the heat of passion whereas autumn symbolises desertion, decline in years and winter evokes the depths of despair, grief and depravity to which the human soul can sink.

The reader needs to see these stories in the context of what I call The Seasons of the heart. A story set in autumn may for example convey a new romance while one set in winter a sense of fulfilment.

I chose to end the Lynchcliffe series before the characters became jaded so the final story in the winter section finally lays to rest a character who became very popular, I came to know and love Lewis Franklin almost as much as his fictional wife, Margaret and this story ensures closure by indicating that he is as honoured and loved in death as in his lifetime.  Having lost the man I loved almost four years ago I transferred a lot of him and the way I felt about him into his characters and his relationship with his wife. Therefore I am seeking closure not only to the series but for my own peace of mind and I wanted to ensure Lewis Franklin had what he deserved; a peaceful dignified exit. I apologise to Lewis Franklin fans but I assure them I did not take the decision lightly and indeed I was not sure I would ever be able to write that scene but I did so.

For those of you who are new to the Lynchcliffe series I welcome you in the hope that it will encourage you to read some of the preceding books. To old friends I welcome you back and thank you for coming along with the ride thus far.

Melanie Dent


To date I have completed two stories out of a proposed twelve. (Four per season section).

The first story – New Horizons – tells of Thomas Frazer’s marriage to Margaret’s mother, Catherine, despite opposition from his father. It tells of defiance, passion and hope for the future which is evocative of spring.

The second story – Dying of the Light – is set firmly in the winter of the heart as it speaks of tragic loss and  rage at God after years of devotion and continued care in the decline of years. You will need handkerchiefs for this one for sure.

I have now completed the story collection. There are twelve stories, 3 per season. I am hoping that it will be published a s an ebook by my friend who has started a new ebook venture Blue Hour Publishing. Watch this space or follow my blog for updates.

Thanks also to Jacoba for the lovely cover design.

To be kept notified of updates and news on the Lynchcliffe series follow this blog.


2 Responses to Lynchcliffe: Seasons of the Heart

  1. tricia says:

    I love the foreword, Melanie. Beautifully and eloquently written. What a wonderful idea for a short story collection!

    • Thanks Tricia.

      Writing that story about Franklin was really difficult because of the memories and emotions on which I had to draw but I truly know how Margaret feels and therefore know her reactions are realistic.

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