My guest today is Nick. He’s been released from the pages of The Forgotten Promise by Kate Ryder. Nick is sharing his letter to Maddie.
Ashton Chase Barn
I have to write this letter. Though I have a skip full of mail that demands answers and my day sheet is crammed with a mass of urgent chores and obligations that I have no hope of fulfilling, I have to write this letter. I have a very stern and hard-working conscience which is giving me no peace at the moment. This letter may quieten its angry clamouring.
It is to be a plea for my defence, a token of gratitude and hope for future friendship.
First, my defence. I am not one of life’s great planners. I do not chart courses or control events. It cannot be said on my epitaph that he knew what he wanted and went out and got it. Whilst my successful friends bore across life’s oceans in pursuit of lofty goals, I bob in their wake, drifting on the tide of circumstance, admiring the scenery that chance presents. Through such aimless navigation I arrive in situations by accident. I know enchanted creeks and peaceful backwaters that the captains of their own destiny will never see. But there are perils that await the drifter, rocky shoals and whirlpools that responsible people steer clear of.
In the same way that I don’t control my life, I cannot control my feelings. I cannot be blamed for admiring attractive scenery. That a client happens to be both charming and beautiful should simply sweeten the working day. Where I am guilty is in not heeding the signs that something was happening within. I should have corrected things and started paddling away at the start when I found myself thinking of you too often and too fondly. That I didn’t take evasive action was due to a naïve belief in some Enid Blyton Utopia where everyone exists as “jolly good chums” – a world uncomplicated by the tangle of feelings, relationships, sexuality, envy and jealousy. The outcome is painful. And now I am dangerously close to being in love, if not already.
This is where the gratitude comes in. For the enchantment that your company has brought to my life. It is a nice feeling knowing there is someone around that you really like. Dorchester, Walditch and the Blacksmith’s Arms are places that have grown a new attraction for me – that I might glimpse you. I enjoyed dusting off my peacock feathers (though I hope it wasn’t too obvious). I did not make a play for you, rather I fell for you. Thank you for briefly and unwittingly making me very happy.
A grey dawn now fills the barn where I am writing this. It heralds a full day. I have used up all the paper trying to write this and there is no more left, and I have not said anything that I really wanted to say.
Maddie, I wish you the greatest fortune in your life. May the gods smile upon you and bless you with happiness – and may your friendship be mine.
The Forgotten Promise
The Forgotten Promise is set in rural Dorset. It is not only a present day romance between Maddie and Nick, but also an intriguing ghost story, replete with twists and turns, which takes the reader on a journey back to the dark and dangerous days of the English Civil War through the characters of Mary and Nat. It is also a story of self-discovery, lost loves and second chances, and of a love that resonates through the ages…
Maddie believes her strong connection with Nick is more than simple, mutual attraction and, over time, recognises that the spirit of her 17th century husband, Nat, lives on through him. Nick is unable to temper his feelings for Maddie and finds himself looking for any excuse to be around her but, being a loyal partner, is very aware of his responsibilities to his long-term girlfriend, Sarah. However, following an incident when he has allowed his strong feelings for Maddie to get the better of him, he writes the letter to her. Heart-broken, Maddie knows she has lost him for a second time.
The Forgotten Promise was shortlisted in Choc Lit UK’s “Search for a Star” competition.
Kate Ryder has worked in a number of industries, including publishing. Mainly employed in editorial, she has worked as a proof-reader/copy editor and, most recently, as chief writer for a national newspaper.
Kate believes that variety is definitely the ‘spice of life’ and in 2001 she moved to Cornwall to restore a 200-year-old cottage. During renovations a time capsule was discovered, left by a previous owner, prompting Kate to think about past occupants and the lives and dramas that had been played out within her home.
With an interest in things ‘alternative’, in 2005 Kate set up a complementary health business for people and animals (http://www.equihealth.co.uk ) and – in between ‘proper’ jobs – has been active at shows and markets up and down the country.
Wanting to escape the restrictions of newspaper speak, Kate joined a creative writers group with the intention of writing short stories, some of which have since been published. However, following a chance conversation with a fellow country market trader the seeds were sown for The Forgotten Promise and a particular exercise during a writers’ workshop turned out to be a little longer than intended; hence this debut novel.
She is currently working on her second novel.
Kate lives in Cornwall with her husband and a collection of animals
She is scheduled to do a book signing during Tavistock Arts Festival 2016 on Saturday, April 23rd.