After my last housekeeping/marketing post, this one is mainly about the actual story!
But I just need to add to my post of November 25th, to say that Amazon have at last put up logical prices, although the three books are not offered as a series unless you search for "The Connection Trilogy" or the ISBNs (see below). However, Book 1 is still at £4.05. This, as I've mentioned before, is because it's a previous edition with a different cover that they need to sell out before they will offer the latest edition (it says there are 14 left!). I have now created my author page in Author Central at Amazon (I hope. It's waiting for verification!) and that should give me the chance to make changes to the listings of my books. We shall see … Enough of that!
Now, as I'm sure you know, you can download samples of most books from Amazon, even if you aren't buying from their sites. In UK, for my Book 1 the sample is here, Book 2 here, and Book 3 here. (Amazon in other countries also provides samples.)
But just to save you the trouble (or perhaps to show you it's worth the trouble ...), here is an edited extract from Chapter 1 in Book 3, describing some of Themistokles’ (Themis) and his wife’s reactions to the first day of their married life … (Frog, as you possibly know, is Themis' personal slave, shrewd partner in many an escapade, and an often under-rated doggerel poet (;-).)
Themistokles opened his eyes …
Birds were calling to greet the dawn. Two green eyes, long-lashed and almond-shaped, gazed at him with unwavering adoration – and was that … triumph?
His new, beautiful, young, headstrong, unsuitable (according to his mother), perfect (according to him), wife, was finally beside him.
‘At last,’ she whispered. ‘I’ve been awake for ages. I was watching you sleep. You dribble, you know.’
Themistokles felt he would explode with joy. ‘And you don’t?’ he countered. Their wedding night had all but undone the plaits and decorations of her unruly, chestnut-brown hair. He reached out and stroked her cheek, softer than the breast of a song-thrush.
… The day continues, each of them dealing with different urgent matters elsewhere, until …
In the courtyard, he saw his bride at the top of the stairs to the women’s rooms, looking down at him.
He ran up the first few steps to meet her, excited by the thought of her reaction to his next gift.
But her expression stopped him dead.
‘What’s this?’ he said, backing down a step. ‘Don’t look at me like that. Tell me what’s wrong. If you need something else, we’ll get it.’
She was clenching her fists to control her temper. ‘I have found something that needs explanation,’ she said deliberately. She turned briskly, her long, married-woman’s robe swishing round her ankles.
He followed her into his workroom. It had once been his mother’s weaving room and now was where he made his colours and stored his painting materials, pictures and sketches. No one except Frog came in here with him. His jaw tensed with anger. ‘What were you doing in here?’ he asked, keeping his voice even. ‘This isn’t one of the women’s rooms anymore.’
She stopped in front of the table where a painting on a thin board was propped up and covered. ‘I thought we’d shown each other everything we’d made,’ she said. ‘But you never showed me this.’ She pulled the flimsy cloth off and stood back.
In the picture, a nymph knelt by a pool among sparse rocks and shrubs, under an empty sky. A twisted tree leant over part of the pool. The nymph was wearing a strange kind of loincloth and a tight bodice that revealed the exact shape of her breasts and waist. The style was not like the vase paintings or murals that Themis did for money. It was more fluid, with subtler colours. The nymph had very short, light brown hair and a child-like profile. She was looking into the mirror-smooth pool at her reflection. But it wasn’t a reflection of her own face that she was gazing at.
It was the face of Themis himself.
This pool among rocks and trees is a typical scene from near the source of many Greek rivers. With little rainfall much of the year, the pools have almost no current of water through them and so can be mirror smooth.
These two photos are of the controversial caryatid at the British Museum and illustrate clothes and hairstyle for a young women on a formal occasion around the time of my story.
There was, then as now, a living to be made by being the best hair plaiter, using the most intricate designs, especially for weddings and other formal occasions.
There's an illustration of how to wear a similar chiton (dress) in my post of November 12th, 2012.
Thanks for reading!
The Connection Trilogy
The Boy in Two Minds trade paperback ISBN 9781838413606
The Girl in Two Worlds trade paperback ISBN 9781838413620
An Ancient Connection trade paperback ISBN 9781838413644
The Boy in Two Minds E-book ISBN 9781838413613
The Girl in Two Worlds E-book ISBN 9781838413637
An Ancient Connection E-book ISBN 9781838413651
All photographs © Julia M Newsome unless otherwise credited.