For most of my adult life, I have been writing fiction – my first love. Since September 2007, after decades of completion avoidance, I put aside all my excuses and began to work seriously. Until I realized that "always wanted to be a writer" meant I had to finish the work I had started before I could say, "I am a writer", I had thousands of words on reams of pages. I write about my writing process, philosophies and social commentary at Everwriting: passion for writing.
And see below for the beautiful new covers for my Nights Before serial novel.
Part II of Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls was released on March 29th and is now in major online book retailers.
About Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls, Part II:
Reaching the pinnacle of her ambitions as the director of Hollis-Beaulieu's charity brings Emily Burdis in close contact with her lover's in-laws. The Gerards may be good people but when there's more at stake than visiting rights, a good executive director takes advice from her PR background.
Emily and David have their future planned, their differences in the open, their objections and obstacles cleared, inadmissible evidence shelved, possibilities on the agenda. Their house on Resaca Place is nearly ready.
Nothing can go wrong.
My latest novel, Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls, is now available at major online book retailers.
When a career minded woman hits that certain age, nothing will satisfy her primordial urge to procreate. Pterodactyl men make the best candidates.
Emily's promotion is on hold after her Public Relations VP transfers her to the Legal department to research for the corporation's takes-no-prisoners lawyer, David Gitano. Her career isn't the only part of her life on hold. Her closest friends are married and making babies. Her baby-clock is ticking and her doctor has no good news. Dance is the one part of her life not letting her down and dancing the lead in her ballet class recital is as close to her dream come true she's likely to get.
As she digs into the liability case Gitano entrusts to her, Emily Burdis uncovers evidence she believes she has been hand-picked to overlook. Torn between her growing admiration for Gitano and her personal integrity, she buries her research and absconds with the evidence.
Gitano wastes no time in chasing her down, for more reasons than he's ready to admit. Dealing with his own life-on-hold battles complicates his professional commitments as well as his private concerns. As Emily and David battle with each other for justice and self-preservation, the conflicts of their professional roles and personal ethics forge a bond that may answer all their needs. Read an excerpt...
Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls is also available at All Romance Ebooks, OmniLit, and on the iBookstore in Italy and Britain as well as All Romance Ebooks and Smashwords.
Serial Novel: Nights Before
The penultimate story in the Nights Before serial novel is 'Twas the Night Before Veterans Day. Months of job-hunting, land Jocelyn in the protective custody of a close friend and seeking the help of a French-speaking public servant whose absence has cracked her faÁade of laissez faire and nonchalance.
Who would have thought a tow truck driver would be her rock in a hard place?
Working a few days a week keeps her snazzy 4x4, Spike, from running out of gas and a meal on her table but canít bring in enough to keep minutes on her cell phone when her former managing editor wants to contact her with a change of plans.
Both of her least favorite authors have made demands and she canít say no when her rent needs paying.
To compound her confusion, the trailer park nymphomaniac has competition when a new voice with attitude pipes up, giving orders and the occasional sound advice. The Veterans Day weekend brings more than a headstrong lawman to Jocelynís door on a night she wonít soon forget. Available at Amazon & AmazonUK.
In the fourth story, 'Twas the Night Before Labor Day, just when Jocelyn believes she has a grip on her job, the publisher throws a task in her path that proves to be wicked near impossible without the help of a friend, if she can find one.
The work sheís editing for her absent fatherís apologist strikes chords Jocelyn would prefer to remain silent. The mad scientist reveals his motherís savory past. Steel proves as reliable as lightning for jump-starting the disheartened. But in the case of one public servant, absence does not make the heart grow fonder.
Now available on the iBookstore & Amazon.
The Nights Before serial novel now has a third story about Jocelyn and her three suitors. In 'Twas the Night Before Mother's Day, Jocelyn faces the first Mother's Day without her mother and the sudden appearance of a well-dressed man who seems to know more about her, her mother and absent father than a stranger should.
An officer of the law, the ex and her eccentric author pick up and scatter pieces all over the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick, Maine.
All the books in this series have had newly designed covers by the graphic artist, Gwiboz.
Now available on the iBookstore Amazon.
This new cover is for the second story in my serial novel, Nights Before, about Jocelyn Tavers and her unwise princes is 'Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day. Jocelyn is juggling unwise princes, an ex-boyfriend and her rebuilt 4x4 on one of the coldest days of a Maine winter.
Her big date on the night before the day for lovers has some surprises in store but so do her ex and the weather forecaster.
What does it take for a girl to get some adoration of her own?
'Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day is a bestseller at AllRomanceEbooks and is also available on the iBookstore as well as Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel-ebooks and Barnes & Noble. Now also available on Amazon.
My New Year's Eve Romance, 'Twas the Night Before New Year, has a new cover and is available on Smashwords and at other major online booksellers Barnes and Noble, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks.
New Year's Eve is a time for reflection and change. Jocelyn has more changes coming at her from all directions on this Portland, Maine winter day than she's faced since her mother's death.
None of it bodes well for the junior editor's fledgling career when her fiancé abandons her to spend this holiday alone. If not for three unwise princes, a Viking warrior and a sinkhole...
A short story – alone for New Year's Eve, what can be worse for a single girl? A lot!
Now also available on Amazon.
The fourth book in the serial novel, 'Twas the Night Before Labor Day, is scheduled for release the day before Labor Day, 2013. Read an excerpt...
Debut Novel, April 2012
My debut novel is Wait a Lonely Lifetime published by Avalon Books, New York. This was a work in progress when I spoke to Lia Brown in July 2010. By the end of September, the book was in her hands. You can read about this book, my process in writing it and what happens next in my online writer's journal, Ever Writing. I was a guest at Four Foxes One Hound on the 28th of April 2011, and was interviewed at USAToday by Joyce Lamb, whose two Paranormal Romances are finalists in the RWA RITA®. After completing Wait a Lonely Lifetime, I realized I had many other works in progress about Americans in Love abroad, two of which will be published in the near future.
My Facebook page, Leigh Verrill-Rhys, Novelist, has details of the publication date, what my editor says about this novel and other information. Wait a Lonely Lifetime is now available in Public Libraries and online book retailers: Amazon & Barnes & Noble as ebooks or paperback or a signed hardbound copy here:
Read an excerpt....
Please let me know your thoughts about Wait a Lonely Lifetime . You can write on my Facebook page, comment on my Blog, send me a Tweet or write a review at Goodreads or on Amazon.
Anthologies of Women's Autobiography
I have been a Director and Editor for Honno: Welsh Women's Press since 1987. During the same period, I have been an international book distributor and marketing consultant for writers, artists and businesses in Wales.
I began my writing career in San Francisco as a short story writer for several small magazines and the Public Broadcasting Service. Once I had moved to Wales, I concentrated on editing the autobiographical and non-fiction writing of women living in Wales with the publication of On My Life - a collection that won second prize in the Raymond Williams Award for Community Publishing in 1990.
I was given an Arts Council of Wales grant to join the masterclass of the poet, Leslie Norris, at the Hay Festival a short time later. I had been involved with the Writers on Tour scheme of the Arts Council as well as a member of the Undeb Awduron Cymru for several years. When the influential Welsh language writers' union and the Writers' Union of Wales were incorporated into the Academi Gymreig, I became a member of the Academi.
In 1992, I had the privilege of working with the historian, Deirdre Beddoe, on the collection, Parachutes & Petticoats, inspired by my mother's experiences during World War II, a book that has enjoyed several reprints and is available again in a new format since January 2010. And, in 2002, Iancs, ConshÓs a Spam was published as the Welsh language companion volume to Parachutes – stories and experiences of Welsh-speaking women in Wales written in their first language, offers a different perspective on the experience of women in war.
These books have found their way into bibliographies in books such as Shelter Me by Alex McAulay, Older Widows And The Life Course: Multiple Narratives Of Hidden Lives (New Perspectives on Ageing and Later Life) by Pat Chambers, The World We Have Won: The Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life by Jeffrey Weeks, Women's History: Britain, 1850-1945: An Introduction (Women's and Gender History) by June Purvis, Ail: Webster's Timeline History, 450 BC - 2007 by Icon Group International among others - about which I am very proud and a little surprised.
Also in 1992, I had the opportunity to contribute to the collection, Discovering Welshness, edited by Oliver Davies and Fiona Bowie. As part of the preparation for the book, Bowie and I had a discussion in which I talked about my fiction. Sometimes, a question can trigger a revelation.
During the interview, I realized that all of my writing has a consistent theme: searching for home. As an emigrant to Wales, this made perfect sense, but I had been writing about that search long before I left San Francisco.