Friday, October 31, 2008

An Irishwoman's Tale by Patti Lacy

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

An Irishwoman's Tale

Kregel Publications (July 8, 2008)


Patti LacyLink


Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois.


Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future.

A shattered cup. Cheap tea. Bitter voices asking what's to be done with the "little eejit." Mary, an impetuous Irishwoman, won't face the haunting memories—until her daughter's crisis propels her back to County Clare. There, in a rocky cliffside home, Mary learns from former neighbors why God tore her from Ireland forty-five years earlier. As she begins to glimpse His sovereign plan, Mary is finally able to bury a dysfunctional past and begin to heal. Irish folk songs and sayings add color to the narrative.

Watch the Book Trailer here

Margie's comments: Two years ago, I was asked to review a manuscript for an agent trying to decide whether to represent the author or not. But I wasn't expecting the manuscript to come from my husband's hometown of Normal, Illinois, just blocks from the house where he was raised. (The twin cities of Bloomington–Normal were home to me for 17 years; both of our children were born in Normal.) *smile* I didn't want that knowledge to "prejudice" my review, so I was very relieved when I discovered a book that was soooo ready for publication I wondered why it hadn't been already. The agent took her on, she had a contract with Kregel a very short time afterward, and we've continued to grow our friendship via e-mail ever since. We finally got to meet face-to-face at this year's ACFW conference.

When I asked (very late) Patti if she would do an interview for this blog, she graciously agreed, even with the short notice.

Thanks, Patti, for joining us today for this blog promotion of An Irishwoman's Tale.

Margie, thanks for inviting me onto your wonderful blog! My only question is why didn’t you invite me on your British tour?

LOL I've lost track of the number of people who wanted to go with us! If it helps, I did think of you when we were in Cornwall just across the Irish Sea from Ireland. *smile*

How did you get started writing, and where has that journey taken you that you may not have expected starting out?

In 1995, a brave Irishwoman shared a story that seared its way into my heart and left a scar that wouldn’t heal until I did my best to capture it on paper. Before that time, my writing life consisted of occasional journaling, some master’s thesis projects, embarrassing love notes, and maudlin poetry.

How do you balance family life with writing?

Right now, I’m not doing a very good job. I just got back from a publicity trip and am about to leave on another one. The bad news is there’s moldy food in the fridge and dog hair on the floors. My husband and son have coped okay, but Fibbie and Hibbie, my ficus and hibiscus trees, have thrown a fit and are shedding leaves like crazy.

The core of my writing plan is to get up around 4:45 and take care of my daily word goal, which is to get at least three pages pounded into the computer file. Three daily pages, even with my bad math skills, equals over a thousand a year. Three novels! Then you’re done and can do fun things like clean the house and cook (I really do like these things!) But travel has knocked holes in this plan.

How does your walk with the Lord affect your writing? And how do you balance time with the Lord with your writing schedule?

God started this whole thing by whispering for me to write the Irishwoman’s story, and He has provided the how-to manual for me. I truly believe that His Spirit has given me the words to write, and for that I am humbled and amazed.

My day starts with me flat on my face, asking forgiveness for specific transgressions from the day before (which, if I’ll be still for a bit, He reveals to me). Then I ask for help with the day’s responsibilities, journal specific praises, like a reader’s kind note, a cloudless azure sky. Singing reminds me of His glory (my dog Laura doesn’t seem to mind the off-key garglings). Since I facilitate a Beth Moore Bible study at my church, I set aside time to work on the lesson, read a Psalm, or find scripture pertinent to current trials. With a career in writing, there’s plenty of them! I couldn’t even turn on the computer without His help.

Prayers and praises continue, often when I do my regular run/walk and have lunch with my son. The exercise seems to clear my head. It’s so amazing to have a God we can talk to whenever the need or want arises!

Since my blog is geared to writers who want to improve their self-editing, could you briefly take us through your process of writing a novel—from conception to revision?

Margie, first off, an image, an idea, a picture, captures my imagination. Mary, that red-haired woman with pale Irish skin, turning to me and asking, “What is your first memory?”, then telling me hers. I just kept thinking about how first memories color our lives, kept pondering why women keep secrets, why they suddenly decide to blurt them out (in this case, to me, a mere acquaintance). The seed of these images is planted in my mind and forms the core of the story.

For my first two novels, I used the SOTP technique (Seat of the Pants) and decided that required too many rewrites. Currently I use a modified version of Randy Ingermanson’s snowflake method of writing.

1. Reduce your story to a couple of sentences. Polish it until you have a nice hook.
2. Expand the hook to a nice paragraph.
3. Develop that paragraph into a synopsis (three to five pages).
4. Use paragraphs of the synopsis to create specific scenes, such as Sheba’s house burns down, Sheba’s parents die, Sheba’s grandmother becomes her guardian (these are from my current Work in Progress, My Name is Sheba). This style leaves plenty of room for freelancing on scenes and the outlining process isn’t cumbersome and impossible for an impulsive person like me.

In this process, I think it’s important to think of a great opening and a cool beginning.

What kinds of things do you have to revise once the editor at a publishing house gets done with your manuscript?

Kregel, my publisher, did a brilliant job of making my story the best it can be. First they sent out a Project Summary which bullets key issues they have with the current manuscript. Then a couple of highly qualified editors (the number varies based on Kregel’s evaluation of the project) combed through the pages, seeking and destroying bad writing. At this point, an in-house editor evaluated the issues and compiled a “final” (before galley proofs) manuscript full of bulleted “problems” for me to change.

Kregel has been wonderful about involving me in this process, and I actually enjoy the exchanges, which have taught me so much about improving my craft. They are actually paying me while “learnin’ me” to write!

After hours of tedious work, “the baby” arrives at your house on the 11X17 galley proofs with a letter instructing you to make only simple changes yet warning that this is your final chance to see the work. On Irishwoman’s Tale, I made probably a thousand changes, rewriting sentences that seemed cumbersome, switching one bad adverb for another, tweaking descriptions.

Poor Miranda Gardener had to send me a, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” e-mail which basically said the novel would never see the inside of the printing company if they took the time to incorporate all of my changes.

The good news was that Dawn Anderson, the editor who’d had her competent hands on the manuscript for the final edit, painstakingly reviewed each of my scribblings, judiciously acted in the story’s best interest, and got things right. As she said, “Patti, it’s time to trust the baby with the babysitter.”

Would you tell us a little about your future projects?

Sally, the chatty Southerner in An Irishwoman’s Tale, gets her turn in the spotlight! Kregel will release What the Bayou Saw in late April/early lMay.

Here’s a summary:

In 1960s Louisiana, segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal rape and a blood oath bound them together.

Nearly forty years later, when one of Sally’s community college students is raped, Sally must decide whether to dredge up secrets buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student. What the Bayou Saw explores the secrets women keep, the lies they tell to keep such secrets, and how truth becomes a catalyst for healing.

My work in process, My Name is Sheba, is the first in a series called “Spanning Seas and Secrets.”

Here’s a hook:

Sheila Franklin loves a son she never knew and a husband who doesn’t know her. Then her past comes knocking—in the form of a young soldier and a Thai prostitute—and threatens to expose her deceptive ways

Finally, would you discuss An Irishwoman’s Tale? The research, the idea, and the scope of the project?

I wish I could take all of y’all to Ireland, which is what I did to really add the hues and music of the wonderful Irish to Mary’s story. With Mary careening up and down the cliffs of County Clare (on the wrong side of the road, I might add), I did my best to keep the voice-activated tape recorder near her mouth without risking her slapping it onto the floorboard (yes, she’s got a bit o’ the Irish temper). With God as our travel guide, the story unfolded in six glorious days. Oftentimes, dear friends, I just copied verbatim the words from my trusty recorder.

Since this was my first attempt at a novel, there were tons of rewrites, including a switch from nonfiction to fiction, from first person to third person. Several wonderful editors, including Camy Tang, took the time to instruct as well as correct. As I pored over books about Ireland, I also dug my way through some wonderful writing books, like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Writing the Breakout Novel, Writing for Emotional Impact, and Bird by Bird. I’m so grateful for the experienced writers who take time to mentor us newbies.

Thank you so much, Patti!

I thank you, Margie, especially since you were one of those early encouragers I just mentioned!

We appreciate your time and the opportunity to spotlight your work.

If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Diamond Duo by Marcia Gruver

Today I’m hosting Marcia Gruver and her debut novel, Diamond Duo. Several months ago, Barbour Publishing asked me to proofread this book, and I fell in love with the story. So when the opportunity came to host her blog tour, I quickly agreed.

So it is my privilege today to introduce you to Marcia and welcome her to The Writer’s Tool.

Marcia Gruver is a full-time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, Marcia delights in writing historical fiction. Her deep south-central roots lend a Southern-comfortable style and a touch of humor to her writing. Recently awarded a three-book contract by Barbour Publishing, she’s busy these days pounding on the keyboard and watching the deadline clock.

Marcia’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW); the Christian Authors Network (CAN!); Faith, Hope, & Love (FHL)—the Inspirational Outreach Chapter of the Romance Writers of America; Fellowship of Christian Writers (FCW); The Writers View; and a longstanding member of ACFW Crit3, her brilliant and insightful critique group.

Lifelong Texans, Marcia and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons. Collectively, this motley crew has graced them with ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter—so far.

Now about Diamond Duo.

Marcia, tell us about Diamond Duo.
Bertha Maye Biddie’s in love. Trouble is, she’s not sure the object of her affection feels the same. He seems to be interested, but something’s holding him back. So when opportunity rides into Jefferson on the northbound train out of Marshall, young Bertha leaps at the chance to learn a few tricks. A charming, charismatic stranger offers to take Bertha under her wing and teach her the art of wooing a man. But when the woman is unable to keep her promise, Bertha realizes their chance meeting held far more eternal significance.

Where did the idea for Diamond Duo come from?
On a trip to Jefferson, Texas, I heard the true story of the unsolved murder of the infamous Diamond Bessie, aka Annie Monroe. In 1877, a flashy, well-dressed couple rode a train into town for a short visit. They checked into a hotel as A. Monroe and wife. The woman seemed to go by more than one name, one of them Bessie Moore. Because she wore several large diamond rings, supposedly gifts offered in exchange for immoral favors, the locals soon dubbed her “Diamond Bessie.”

On the last day of Bessie’s life, she and her companion, Abraham Rothschild, took a picnic basket into the woods. He came out alone, wandering the streets of Jefferson by himself for several days. When asked about Bessie, he said she was staying with nearby friends and would return in time for their departure. However, he left by himself two days later, carrying Bessie’s luggage along with his own.

A local woman discovered poor Bessie’s body in the woods several days later. Jefferson officials went after Abraham Rothschild and tried him for her murder, but due to his money and considerable influence, he was acquitted.

While standing over Diamond Bessie’s grave, assuming her eternal fate, I found myself wondering: “What if?” Maybe history had been unkind to Bessie. What if she wasn’t as bad as some claimed? Suppose God had arranged a surprise finish for her—a loving, merciful end that no one would’ve expected?

How did you become interested in the real life murder of Annie Monroe?
It’s hard to visit historic Jefferson, Texas without tripping over Annie’s story. Diamond Bessie has become a tourist attraction, and the locals seem more than eager to tell the account. The shops abound with books on the topic, one penned by Jefferson historian, Fred McKenzie. Every year, during Jefferson’s annual Pilgrimage Festival, the residents perform in a play entitled The Diamond Bessie Murder Trial. The play is derived from court transcripts, and it’s really quite an event!

You have several themes woven into Diamond Duo. Could share them with us?
Young Bertha Biddie schemes to win the affections of Thaddeus Bloom, a man bound by honor to his father’s dream. She gets a lesson on honor herself when God asks her to risk her future with Thad to help a stranger.

Thad learns the importance of listening to his mama the hard way, but wonders if it’s fair to expect him to sacrifice his happiness in obedience to his father’s plans for his life.

Sarah King is used to better treatment from her fellow man regardless of race, but forgets her husband deserves the same regard. Her unbridled temper and acrid tongue threaten to drive him away, until the pure heart of a tragic stranger teaches Sarah a lesson in colorblind acceptance.

In Diamond Duo, Bertha feels solely responsible for leading Annie Monroe out of her lifestyle and into a believer’s world. Have you ever had a similar experience in your life?
I think every Christian feels a strong compulsion to share God’s grace once they’ve had a taste. If you think about it, given the Great Commission, we’re all solely responsible for leading those in our paths to God.

How do you research a historical project for accuracy?
Actually, I begin most of my research on They have books on every imaginable topic. No, I don’t own shares of stock, but I should by now.

After I pore over written material to get a visual of the period, I plan a visit to the area where the book is set. For my Texas Fortunes Series, I spent a week in Jefferson, Texas researching Diamond Duo, book one. Book two was easy. I live just a few miles from Humble, Texas, the setting for Chasing Charity. My family all work in the oil patch and have for generations. My contractor husband is currently on a job in South Texas, so I was fortunate to spend several months in Carrizo Springs researching book three, Emmy’s Equal. There’s no substitute for walking the streets, exploring the sites, haunting the libraries, and talking to the locals. However, I’ve discovered the little details that provide historical accuracy need constant verification. I do my best, but I don’t know if it’s possible to get all the facts right. I use the Internet some, but you have to be careful with information gleaned from the web. Not every source can be trusted.

You have so many wonderful and unique characters in Diamond Duo. Which of the characters do you identify with and why?
This question makes me smile. I’ve been accused of being the inspiration for Bertha Maye Biddie—a free-spirited rebel with an aversion to shoes. I think that’s me on the inside.

Can you tell us about your next book?
Chasing Charity, book two in the Texas Fortunes series, picks up in Humble, Texas, several years after Diamond Duo ends. Charity Bloom, Bertha’s daughter, stands at the altar watching her best friend flee the church on the heels of her departing fiancé. This is the final straw for Charity, who is distressed by the many changes taking place in her life and in her hometown, most notably the devastation wrought after oil is discovered near Humble. Imagine Charity’s surprise when one of the men responsible comes to her rescue, and she finds her heart torn between two suitors—the handsome roughneck and the deceitful rogue who broke her heart.

Check out Marcia’s Web site and blog.

If you'd like a free copy of Diamond Duo, leave a comment, and next Thursday I’ll have a drawing and post the winner's name.

Also check out the other blog tour hosts for additional information and contests:
A Latte and Some Words
A Little Bit of Sunlight
Anne Greene
Be a Barnabas
Book Splurge
Cara’s Musings
Dawn Michelle Michals at ShoutLife
Erica at ShoutLife
God With Us - Finding Joy
Horizontal Yo-Yo
Janice Olsen
Lighthouse Academy
Mary Connealy - real life
My Christian Fiction Blog
Net’s Notes
On The Write Path
Pam Krumpe
Patti’s Porch
Readin N Writin
Relz Reviewz
Simple Living Christian Style
Tamara Lynn Kraft
Terri Tiffany
The Friendly Book Nook
Writing by Faith

Daily Light

I so needed this reading this morning from the devotional classic Daily Light. The one I'm using these days is the English Standard Version (ESV).

Go here to read it online. I'd love to hear if this reading blessed you. *smile* Being in the Word daily is so crucial to a vibrant, living relationship with the Lord.

Vacation in the UK-4

We returned to London late Sunday afternoon and rushed to get to the service at Kathy's church, St. Helen's Bishopsgate, located in the City of London. We enjoyed both services we attended there; it's wonderful to find a church where the preaching of God's Word is solid and applicable—just like our own church here in Denver. Music in worship is very important to me, and I loved hearing new songs as well as singing "old" ones. And they have an awesome pipe organ! Singing "Be Still My Soul" accompanied by the pipe organ (we happened to be sitting right next to it! LOL) is one of my highlights of the entire trip. *smile*

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we explored London and nearby places, some on our own, but mostly with London Walks, guided tours specializing in specific areas or topics. Kathy had sent us the link ahead of time, and we already had several walks we'd highlighted.

Our first walk was the Shakespeare walk that included a short boat ride down the Thames from Big Ben and the houses of Parliament to the location of the new Globe Theatre. We got discount vouchers to go back and tour inside the theatre later, so our walk concentrated on Shakespeare's London and what would have been there (like the old site of the two previous Globe Theatres), what was still there, and what life was like in the late 1500s, early 1600s in London. Interesting stuff.

Roger forgot the camera that morning, and he bought a disposable that we took the morning pictures with. So when the walk was done, we headed for the tube and went back to the hotel to grab the camera and eat lunch at a café. Then we were back to meet the next group for an afternoon tour of Westminster Abbey.

We met at the same place outside the tube station across the street from Big Ben. The group was much bigger, and we divided into two groups just outside the church so that it would be easier to hear our guides inside the church. I loved doing the tours with London Walks because we seemed to get so much more information than an audio tour of the church would give us. The guides are very knowledgeable about the history and unique aspects of whatever topic is central to the walk.

Even then, I found that with each site we visited, I wanted to have a written record of the history and points of interest, so we visited the various shops connected with each site and bought a souvenir/guidebook. I know I'll use them in research for future projects, so it was a good investment. Plus in many of the buildings we weren't allowed to take pictures, and these books have those.

Westminster Abbey is huge and chock full of the history of England, including my favorite part—Poet's Corner. Of course much more than poetry is represented here, but this section of the cathedral is dedicated to memorializing those who were active in the arts: music, writing, painting, etc.Cloister area of the Abbey.

Tuesday we met at the Tower of London to start our tour of Greenwich. We learned that William the Conqueror was responsible for building the tower and it was directly related to Greenwich as well. From the Tower we went on another, longer boat ride on the Thames to Greenwich. The captain pointed out many historical aspects of the river and points of interest on each side of the river, like the area where Charles Dickens set Oliver Twist. (I missed getting to take the Dickens walk because they do it on Friday afternoon, and we weren't in London then. Next time!)

In Greenwich we walked around the palace, former naval academy, and now university owned buildings. Behind the Queen's palace is a 168 ft. hill—the highest point in the entire London area. (Being from Colorado and living at about 6,000 ft. . . . well needless to say, we weren't too impressed! LOL Neither was our guide.) The Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian (0° longitude [pronounced "long-i-tude"—hard g] marked out, as well as shops, a park, and (most importantly) a café were at the top. With our group, we watched the ball rise just before 1:00 p.m. and fall at exactly 1:00. Very interesting. *smile*

After exploring the Royal Observatory, we headed back to London and Kathy's flat, where we met her roommate and Kathy fixed a delicious dinner for us.

Wednesday we did one of London Walks day trips to Oxford and the Cotswolds. This was my favorite of all the walks we did. We met our guide at Paddington Station and took a train to Oxford, via Slough and Reading. Once there we were ushered onto a coach (tour bus) for our ride in the Cotswolds (cots are sheep pens or fields where they graze; wolds are hills—a very apt description of the countryside).

We drove through Oxford on the way to a small village, Old Minster Lovell. On the way, Richard, our guide, talked about the various places in Oxford we drove by, like the Ashmolean and the Eagle and Child Pub where C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkein met with their writer's group, the Inklings. He also talked about the history of Oxford up to the founding of the colleges and university.

Old Minster Lovell is tucked away off the main road. Don't know how the coach driver did it, but the road leading into town including a very sharp right turn onto a very narrow stone bridge. Once in the village, we got out and walked down the one street. Richard showed us the typical architecture of houses in the village, including thatched roofs and stone roofs (look like slate). We got an idea of what life in a village, especially in earlier years, was like. We also walked around to a ruined manor house with an intact chapel next to it, and learned about the family who first built the house and church.

Roger and I both love history, so we really soaked up all the history we saw before us. *smile*

For lunch we went into Burford, a larger village with several places to eat, for lunch. We ate at a tea shop Richard recommended,
then strolled down to take a peak at Burford's church that has been standing since the 1200s. What is unique is that no additions in later architectural styles has been added to this church. The village has kept the building as it was originally built—very unusual.

On the way back to Oxford, Richard told us how the various colleges and university got started, and explained the tutor system of teaching that goes on at Oxford and Cambridge—the only universities in the world that still employ this style of education. Very interesting to this teacher! We walked the streets within the university proper (and I'm sure glad this was done with a guide! I would have been lost with all the alleys and roads we walked down), learning about the various colleges, the Bodleian Library, chapels, and stories connected with each. At New College we went in and toured their chapel (the largest of all college chapels in Oxford, complete with a pipe organ) and dining hall.

At the end of the afternoon Richard gave us about forty-five minutes to shop, explore, whatever, before meeting him again for our train ride back to London. Roger knew he couldn't keep me away from the Blackwell Bookshop just across from the university—a huge bookshop, with room after room of books, miles upon miles of book shelves, according to the information we were given. After he pulled me out of there (not without spending some money!), we went in search of the picture of the Eagle and Child, then met the group and headed back to London.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vacation in the UK-3

Roger had done quite a bit of research into his family history in Britain ( before we went, so we knew we were looking for Trematon Castle, built by the de Valletorts after they aided William the Conqueror in his quest to take over Britain. Long time ago! The castle ruin is now privately owned by the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles, so we couldn't actually get onto the property. But we got close!

We set the NavSat to get us to Trematon, the village, thinking it was the obvious place to find the castle that Roger’s ancestors built in the twelfth century. It is in ruins, but we knew we could see it on a hill somewhere in this area.

We got to the village all right, and we drove straight through, looking for places we could see the castle through the hedgerows. Kathy stopped at a public walkway (a stile leading into a field), but we still didn’t see it. So we decided to turn around and go back through the village, looking for a place that would give us some info. We finally drove into Saltash and followed the info signs.

There, two very helpful men knew the castle and gave us directions to St. Stephens Road and the church.

We parked by the church, walked around it with the cemetery literally above our heads. (Have I mentioned the very tall hedgerows? Only this was all grass and dirt.) Beautiful old church with burial dates in the 1700s on many of the gravestones.

Up through very recent times. Walking out of the churchyard on the other side of the church, we saw a road named Castle View, so we walked to the end where there was a gate into a field, not a public walkway there. Across the field and past a small forest stood the castle with a Cornish flag flying from the ramparts.

We took lots of pictures, then walked back to the church. Roger did a little more exploring, because the man at the info place told us there was a good view from the back of the churchyard. Kathy and I went back to the car to wait for him, but he came back and told us we needed to walk back there, too. Looking over a hedgerow in the back of the churchyard, we saw another side of the castle and keep. (There were lots of bees in the flowers on the hedgerow, so we didn’t stay long. Roger's deathly allergic to bee stings.) Took a few more pictures.

Then we decided to follow St. Stephens Road off the little map we got from the info men. We went through a little village with a tidal creek (tide was going out, mostly just mud), and up a very narrow lane.

We stopped and parked at the Old Butler’s House that was also an entrance to another public pathway. As we climbed out of the car, we realized we were actually right at the castle. It rose up above the hedgerow on the other side of the lane (literally, most of the roads we were on all day were very narrow with very high hedgerows on each side).

We climbed the stile into the field and discovered a railroad bridge over the tidal stream into the estuary. There was a good-sized ship in the water there. We could also see across the river to Plymouth.

We walked up a long hill and took more pictures back toward the castle.

When we got back into the car, we continued along the road, stopping a couple more places. One of the stops was at the gatehouse to the castle, where everything is very clearly marked private.

We took a few more pictures, before following the road farther. We stopped one more place to see if we could still see the castle, but we couldn’t, so we continued, hoping the road would take us back to the main road back to Looe. Shortly we found the spot where we’d stopped and turned around the first time near Trematon. We were on the same road! If we’d followed it futher, we would have found it. But then we wouldn’t have gotten all the pictures from St. Stephens or Castle View, and even probably the little village at the bottom of the hill. So we were very happy with the way things turned out.

After our little adventure with the castle, we headed to Looe and other villages along the coast. Since we'd eaten dinner in Looe the night before, we drove on through to Polperro, where we explored, ate lunch, and explored some more.

Then we took a ferry across to Fowery (pronounced Foy) and did some more exploring.

Kathy had been to Cornwall in July with her friends Sarah and Sam Wilde who are from there. She wanted to show us some of the places they'd taken her, so we drove on to Mevagissy. By the time we explored the harbor area and bought some things in the shops to remember our day by, we drove back to St. Austell for dinner and then back to Penvith Barns.

Sunday we drove back to London by a different route recommended by Alison and her husband, Peter, that took us right by Stonehenge. Something that hadn't been high on our list of things to do and see this time, but since we were there we couldn't pass it up. Very interesting place, indeed.
Don't we look happy here? Actually it was very windy and bright that day.
Burial mounds on the far side of the car park.