Thursday, November 03, 2011

It's that time of year again!

I know it's only November but I am going to mention the dreaded "C" word. After all, the shops are already full of glitter and presents and the television is showing ads for the latest perfume and all those things you never realised you needed. And the publishing world is gearing up for the festive season, too.

My latest Sarah Mallory is on the shelves now, as part of a Christmas Special called One Snowy Regency Christmas.  I love the cover of this book, it looks like a beautiful Christmas card, but I wanted to share with you the painting that was the inspiration for this book.

We were on holiday on Exmoor, staying at the beautiful little village of Porlock and when we were at one of the local inns, the Ship, I saw a copy of the painting below.  It is called "Journey's End" by a local artist, Maurice Bishop.  Once I had seen it I knew I just had to have a copy, and at the same time my mind was working overtime, thinking of a story that involved my hero and heroine being snowbound in a house on the moors. I also wanted to use Porlock, so I changed its name of the village to Mersecombe, but kept an inn called the Ship.

Then, as we were making our way home from the holiday, my editor rang to ask if I could write a special Christmas story.  The timing could not have been better, and the result is "Snowbound with the Notorious Rake."

So, what do you think of when you see "Journey's End"? I have a framed print on my wall now (signed by the artist) and I must admit, I think there may be several other stories to come out of this yet…..

I am very grateful to Maurice Bishop for allowing me to use this image, and if you want to see more of Maurice's work, go to

Sarah Mallory


Jan Jones said...

Oh, how evocative is that! Lots of stories in there. I'll look forward to reading your one.

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

Maurice Bishop's painting is wonderfully evocative, Sarah. I can quite understand why it inspired you; it's the contrast between the warm orange candlelight indoors and its reflection on the cold blue moonlit snow outside. It sets up a sort of cold-warm dramatic tension which, doubtless, is reflected in its turn in your story!

Melinda Hammond said...

Thanks Jan and Elizabeth. I was writing this through last year's snowy winter, too, which helped enormously.

It doesn't show up too clearly here, but if you look closely at the picture you might be able to see figures at the window above the barn doors - it could well be children looking out for their father's return.... but that is for a whole new book!

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Melinda B. Pierce said...

Both the cover and the painting are lovely - thanks for sharing :-)

Melinda B. Pierce