Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Influences on my writing
One of the questions I get asked is whether people I know are reflected in the characters in my books. The easy answer is yes, of course. The experiences and relationships we have are part of what makes us the people that we are and any writer will reflect that in what they write, either consciously or subconsciously.
There’s no one character in my writing that is a total reflection of any one person that I know. Instead, different characteristics from one person I know may appear in several different written characters. And any written character may have features from several people I know, as well as characteristics I’ve invented. I suspect every character has a little bit of me because I wrote them – Leonie is probably most like me, but Perry (Prospero) has some of my characteristics too.
But people aren’t the only influences on my writing. Although I am absolutely tone deaf (if I sing others wince) I enjoy listening to music and there are some definite musical influences on the Choices and Consequences series. But because I’m tone deaf, I don’t listen to music while I write as many authors do, and the influences are more about the lyrics than the tune.
Underlying the whole foundation and world building of Choices and Consequences, and particularly House St Peter (where the first two books are set) and House Tennant (where a lot of Weave of Love is set) is Graham Kendrick’s Beauty for Brokenness, also sometimes known as God of the Poor. It was written in 1993 for the 25th anniversary of the charity Tearfund. It was influenced by a visit that Kendrick had made to India in 1992 and his perception of the contrast between Indian poverty and Western affluence.
There are a number of other musical influences too including:
It is well with my soul – Horatio Spafford
With a Prayer you Fed the Hungry (Love Incarnate) – Stuart Townend
You Raise Me Up – sung by Jonathon Viera
You Needed Me – Anne Murray
Blessed be your name – Beth and Matt Redman
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman
Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
Do let me know if you spot where and how these influence the story and world in my books!
As well as people and music, there’s the physical environment. I live in the East Pennines in England and I have the most amazing view from my study window. Our house is set into the side of a steep, narrow valley and across from my window are hills and fields, farms and woods. You won’t have to read far into any of my books to see that this has influenced the places in them. There’s a place that’s mentioned briefly in the second book, Thread of Hope that will reappear in the final part, Cloth of Grace. There’s a short extract including it below. I’ve called it Lookout Rock, and yes, it is a figment of my imagination. But there’s a real place we sometimes walk to that is very similar.
This time, she was the one who broke the kiss, returning to her curious, enthusiastic self and bouncing to her feet as she asked, “Then can we go up to the Lookout Rock?”
“Of course,” he said, getting to his feet. “Is that what you call it?”
He knew the place she meant. Further along – perhaps ten to fifteen minutes walking – the hill above this lake ended abruptly in a sharp cliff edge, a relic of a long past landslide or earthquake. There was a solid rock on which they could walk almost to the edge and see for miles across the landscape below. Lookout Rock was a good name for it and it probably had been used as such in the past.
I hope you enjoy reading Weave of Love and in the previous books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them, and that you continue with me to the end of the series.
Read on to discover more about Weave of Love and the other books in this enthralling series:
Weave of Love
Choices and Consequences Book 3
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Other Retailers : https://www.books2read.com/weaveoflove
Price : £2.99
What if the choice you have to make has devastating consequences for others?
How can anyone know the right thing to do?
Leonie chose to sacrifice everything to save other people. Now those around her have to face the consequences – and those consequences are not what they expected.
Prospero must deal with his own guilt. He was the one who gave Leonie the tools she needed – her life was in his hands. To make the most of what she did, he will have to face up to all the family issues he has avoided for so long. Whatever he chooses to do, someone he loves will be hurt. For Leonie’s sake, is he now strong enough to make the choice he couldn’t make before?
The crisis predicted by Lord Gabriel has come and gone. But his task isn’t over. Leonie’s very existence may be out in the open but Gabriel discovers that the past is never what it seems – and nor is the present. How can he use what he now knows to bring together those who have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember? If he fails in this, everything he’s had to do so far will be in vain.
Thread of Hope
Choices and Consequences Book 2
Associates : https://amzn.to/2BWkROL
Other retailers : https://www.books2read.com/threadofhope
Price : £2.99
What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?
Leonie may have run away but Prospero will find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…
Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…
Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?
Strand of Faith
Choices and Consequences Book 1
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Price : Normally £2.99
From 12th October until 5th November, ebook copy of Strand of Faith is available free from Bookcave but requires a subscription to my newsletter.
A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice.
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?
In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.
After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?
Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?
Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?
And coming soon (February 2020)
Cloth of Grace
Choices and Consequences Book 4
Associates : https://amzn.to/2kU5Es8
Other Retailers : https://www.books2read.com/clothofgrace
Price : £2.99
When the fate of the world rests on your shoulders, how do you choose between what you ought to do and the only thing you really want?
Leonie finally knows who she is. But now she needs to decide who she is going to be. Her choice will affect not just her family, not just those she knows but tens, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that she doesn’t. And every path that’s open to her will put Perry under the pressures that caused his breakdown before. How can she do what she must and still protect Perry?
Perry desperately wants to make things easier for Leonie. Somehow he has to find the strength to face the things that all but destroyed him in the past. But every way he turns some aspect of his past lies waiting to pounce – even during his happiest moments. And he can never forget that Leonie’s life is in danger from someone, somewhere. That danger may be much closer to home than anyone suspects.
Gabriel has managed to negotiate peace, at least in theory. Now he must put that into practice and reunite Leonie with the family she never knew she had. Then disaster strikes right in the middle of his own sanctuary. Can he still protect those he loves, or has he been harbouring a villain the whole time?
Rachel J Bonner is the author of the compelling and enthralling four book Choices and Consequences series. The first book in the series, Strand of Faith, was published in November 2018. Book 2, Thread of Hope, released on 2nd May 2019, followed by Weave of Love on 24th October, and Cloth of Grace at the end of February 2020.
Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in fantasy or romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Shooting targets only, honest. Nothing to worry about. (Okay, sometimes we shoot Polo mints. Or cabbages. Still nothing to worry about.)
She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.
You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at www.racheljbonner.co.uk.
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Many thanks to Rachel J Bonner for sharing information about the influences on her writing and to Rachel’s Random Resources for materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of.