Clare shares two of her favorite Bible verses, her favorite recipe and two excerpts from her new book, Dark Lake.
This is actually on a photo that I’ve had above my bed / my side of the bed since I was two, maybe younger. It’s always been there, always reminding me that Someone cares no matter how rotten I feel or how bad a day it’s been.
What a beautiful picture.
The other is Deuteronomy 5v33b: “Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”
This always makes me giggle. But then I’m a huge Trekkie so it would do. Who’d have guessed that Live long and prosper comes from the Bible? And that came straight from Leonard Nimoy. Along with the Vulcan salute.
Thank you for verses to nourish our souls. And, the yummy recipe.
Tell us a little about yourself. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
Anything and everything. I read under the covers at night with a torch. I read most places, apart from in a car. I get terribly travel sick – more than a hundred yards without the window open or the air con on and I’m throwing up! Even now!! I read Enid Blyton, Willard Price, everything Mum had on her book shelf, anything to do with volcanoes or disasters. And I still read a lot now.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
It’s constant. I hand write everywhere – apart from in a car obviously. So Hubby gets up at 4 for work, I write in bed. I write curled up on the couch. At my desk. Every book is handwritten first. Then typed up.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
From the weirdest places. A chance conversation on Facebook. An email from my editor. A line on a TV show. A dream. Sometimes I’m just sitting here and something just occurs out of the blue.
Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
There are certain things I won’t write. Sex for one thing. Never. And I won’t write on a Sunday, because it’s work.
Do you put yourself in your books?
Yes lol. Dad notices that a lot. And things I see go in there too. So most, if not all of my characters are short. They all hate spiders. Half wear glasses and none of them are slim. And they all speak like I do.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a 4 book series for Pelican called Say A Prayer. The premise is 10 commandments, 2 cops, 1 serial killer. This one was inspired totally by my editor. She emailed, dropped 4 book titles on me and told me to run with it. Hah. She knows me too well….
Archaeologist Dr. Lou Fitzgerald is used to unexpected happenings, and they don't usually faze her. After surviving a childhood disability, and dealing with an unfair boss, Lou has learned the art of rolling with the punches. But when she arrives at Dark Lake, what was supposed to be a simple archaeological dig is beyond even her wildest imaginations.
Land owner Evan Close has his own reasons for keeping the secrets of Dark Lake, and this attractive interloper is a menace. Her precious dig threatens to bring his house of cards tumbling down around him, and he feels helpless to stop it.
It soon becomes apparent there are dark forces at work, and Lou's simple assignment turns into a mystery. Solving that mystery comes with a steep price.
Lou leaned back in her chair, glad she was sitting down. Her heart raced, cheeks burned and her stomach clenched. “You’re kidding me,” she finally managed past the huge lump in her throat.
“No. I’m sorry. I’m not kidding. I’m deadly serious.” Varian certainly didn’t appear sorry, and he definitely didn’t sound apologetic. He both looked and sounded smug, as if this had been his plan all along.
“I can’t leave,” Lou insisted. “Didn’t you hear me? We found it. Proof that I was right all along.” She waved a file at him. “This is my work. My discovery. You can’t just replace me.”
Make that replace her again—the same way he always did, right when she was on the cusp on proving something or on the brink of another discovery.
“I’m sure your team is more than capable of carrying on without you.”
“Uh, no, they’re not,” she spluttered. Were they really having this conversation? “They need me as much as I need to be here.”
“Are you saying you don’t trust them?”
“No. I’m not saying that at all! I trust them implicitly. Well, most of them anyway.” She sucked in a deep breath, her hands curling into balls under the desk. She tamped down her temper and tried to put a lid on her emotions. “I’m saying I’ve put years into this and I want to—”
“—be the one to finish it?” Varian completed her sentence in that annoying manner, which only served to irritate her further.
She scowled, fingers drumming on the desk. “Yes. Is that so wrong? It’s my work, my paper, my blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention sleepless nights that have gone into this and you want to ditch me in favour of some up and coming lackey so you and he can take the glory? Again. It’s not fair.”
“Life isn’t fair. You’ve got an hour to get your notes and files together before you brief him and me—”
“I don’t believe I’m hearing this!”
“Then you leave and don’t look back.”
Lou scowled harder, wishing she could give him the “stink-eye” as Jim termed it when they were kids. “Who is he anyway? This person you’re replacing me with.”
“Monty is coming down to…”
She almost yelled aloud in frustration, reining it in at the last second. Monty was Varian’s son. It made sense he’d be the one taking over now that they were so close to a discovery that would make her name and put this corner of Wales on the map right up there with Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon.
Instead, Lou picked up a pen and hurled it across the portacabin. “What a surprise. You know, it’s so nice to see that nepotism is alive and well and flourishing in Wales. The exact same way it does all over the country wherever the Sparrow Foundation can be found.”
She paused, counting to five slowly. “Are you sacking me?” she muttered.
“On the contrary, I have a nice simple job for you.”
“Tell you what. Send Monty to do your nice simple job. See if he can do that without messing it up. We all know what happened on the Tumbrel dig. How he was responsible for those deaths.” Varian’s expression darkened, and Lou wisely shut up before he really did sack her. “Have you heard of Dark Lake?” he asked.
“Should I have?”
“It’s a reservoir up in the Pennines. The villages of Abernay and Finlay were flooded in the first half of the last century to make the Aberfinay Dam, shortly before the start of the Second World War. It’s now known locally as Dark Lake after the new village that sprang up next to it. The dam provides water for one of the large towns. It doesn’t matter which one. The whole area is owned by an old family friend, Evan Close.”
Her fingers drummed her irritation on the desk. “And? What does this have to do with the price of fish?”
“The water levels have dropped enough to see the church spire above the level of the reservoir. A few unusual artefacts have washed ashore. I want you to go up there and see what’s going on.”
“Like I said the land is owned by a family friend. Neither of us wants this getting into the media. We’d prefer it be handled quickly and quietly. I can get you permission to dive once or twice. And arrange for a diving team to meet you up there.”
“Can’t it wait a few weeks?”
“No. It has to be done now.”
“Send Whatshisface up there.”
“Monty can’t swim. You can. You have a gold medal to prove it.”
Lou chewed her bottom lip. “That was a lifetime ago. I had to make a choice over careers, and I chose archaeology. I finally get my big break, and you’re taking it away from me.
When I’ve done all the leg work, all the research…”
Varian handed her a file. “I’d shut up about now if I were you. Assuming you want to keep your job. I’m sending you to Dark Lake. End of discussion. I’ll see you in an hour.”
Lou stood. Part of her wanted to quit on the spot, but the other part of her had more sense. “You know what? Brief yourself. These are all my files and notes. I’m sure my team can tell
you anything else you need to know if you can’t read my writing.”
“Don’t you Lou me. I’ve spent the best part of ten years working for you, and this is how you repay me. Every. Single. Time.” She stomped over to the door and slammed it hard behind her.
Buy Dark Lake on
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To learn more about Clare and her books visit her Amazon page