Why I wrote #Resurgam: An Eyre Hall Series #Novella inspired by Helen Burns’ Death in #Jane Eyre

I am sure I was not the only impressionable teenager who read chapter IX of Jane Eyre and was haunted forever by Charlotte Bronte’s description of Helen Burns’ death in Jane Eyre’s arms, where Helen’s corpse rested, nestled with Jane until the following morning.

Helen Burns was Jane Eyre’s best friend at Lowood Institution for Orphans, where Jane spent seven years as a student and two as a teacher. Helen supported Jane through the public humiliations Mr Brocklehurst imposed on her, and helped a non-conformist Jane to understand and adapt to the teachers and routine at Lowood. In case you don’t remember, you can read a flash fiction summary of chapter VIII, in which their friendship is explained, and chapter IX, which deals with Helen’s death.

Chapter IX ends with a few brief lines about Helen’s burial in an unknown mass grave. Forty girls, half of the pupils at Lowood, died of typhus that summer. As most of the girls were orphans, few of them had families, and those who did could not afford to pay for a headstone.

Resurgam is dedicated to my grandmother, Rafaela Fernandez, whom I never met because she was killed in an air raid in August 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, and buried anonymously in a mass grave. My mother, who was seven at the time, was sitting on her lap. Miraculously, she survived.

No doubt that is why I was especially sensitive to Helen’s death and anonymous mass burial. When I decided to write an Eyre Hall Series Novella, Helen’s death scene, her anonymous mass grave, and the word Resurgam were constantly on my mind.

In Jane Eyre, Jane tells her Dear Reader, that she returned to the cemetery fifteen years later, when she was married to Mr Rochester and had a son, to lay a headstone on her friend’s grave with the word, Resurgam.

Why Resurgam? Resurgam is Latin for “I shall rise again.” It is found in the Bible referred to the resurrection of Christ on the third day. Helen was fervently religious, and stoically accepted her death. Helen also influenced Jane’s religious beliefs and faith in God, especially regarding life after death, which Jane firmly believed in. Her faith was the reason why she wanted her friend to have a headstone to remind everyone who saw it that they would rise again after death.

I wrote Resurgam to capture the moment Jane returned to Brocklebridge cemetery and erected Helen’s headstone. The plot explores the reasons Jane did so at that precise moment, and how the event came about. The novella delves into the themes of friendship, honouring our past and our deceased friends and relatives, as well as love, marriage, motherhood and social concerns.

Naturally I reimagined Jane, some years into her marriage, with her young son, John Eyre Rochester, while she was living at Eyre Hall, the house she built on the site of Thornfield Hall, with her uncle John Eyre’s inheritance.

Readers of Resurgam will see how the Rochesters’ marriage developed over the years and the way in which Jane adapted to her new life as the wife of the wealthy owner of the Rochester estate, as well as the reasons and way in which the word Resurgam finds its way to Brocklebridge Church graveyard.

Writing Resurgam was cathartic for me and my Jane Eyre. It was written at a challenging time, which led to a personal reflection about the life we lead, the dreams we achieve, and the people and life we leave behind, because we can’t have it all, or can we?

The events narrated in Resurgam occurred eleven years before Blood Moon at Eyre Hall, Book One of the Eyre Hall Series, so it can be read as a standalone or as a prequel to the series. Some of the main characters of The Eyre Hall Series, such as Michael, Susan, Mrs Leah, John Rochester, Bishop Templar (who is Archdeacon), and Isaac das Junot, appear in this 22,000-word novella. Check out yesterday’s post for the blurb and more information about Resurgam.

If this sounds intriguing, why not preorder here. It’s available on Amazon and other book retailers at a special launch price of one dollar click on the image below.

As always, if you would like a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review, just let me know in the comments or sign up for my newsletter by following the link below:

And if you’d like to find out more about The Eyre Hall Series, visit my homepage

#BookLaunch Resurgam: An Eyre Hall Series Novella is available for preorder! To be published on 20th #September

Relive the mystery and magic of Jane Eyre

Nine years after her marriage to Edward Rochester, Jane has everything she ever wished for. She is married to the man she loves and they have a healthy eight-year-old son. They live in a grand new house, Eyre Hall, built on the grounds of Thornfield Hall.

Jane has the family she longed for and all the comforts money can buy, and yet she is discontented.

Mrs Rochester is dissatisfied with her opulent lifestyle, and she is tormented by cryptic nightmares in which Helen, her deceased best friend from Lowood Institution for Orphans, begs Jane for help.

When another friend from Lowood, Mary Anne Wilson, appears unexpectedly at Eyre Hall with distressing news, Jane realises she will not recover her peace of mind, fortitude, and passion unless she finds a way to keep the promise she made to Helen when she was a penniless orphan.

Resurgam is a standalone novella which can be read as a prequel to The Eyre Hall Series. The events narrated take place between 1853 and 1854, eleven years before Blood Moon at Eyre Hall, Book One of The Eyre Hall Series.

If this sounds intriguing, why not preorder here. It’s available on Amazon and other book retailers at a special launch price of one dollar click on the image below.

As always, if you would like a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review, just let me know in the comments or sign up for my newsletter by following the link below:

And if you’d like to find out more about The Eyre Hall Series, visit my homepage

#ThursdayDoors ‘Delicious Doors’ #Coffee #Tea #Friendship

If you come inside

You’re sweetest tooth you will delight.


Coffee, tea and cake

All of your worries will take.

If shared with good friends

You’ll find ways to make amends.

In Ice Cream Café

All worries will fly away.

Many of life’s daily worries seem even smaller after a chat with a friend, and if you also share some tea or coffee in a nice coffee shop, perhaps things won’t seem so bad, after all, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’

Do pop over to Norm’ Blog, #ThursdayDoors host, to join in or to check out other fabulous doors from around the world!

Hope you’re having a fabulous Thursday!

#SilentSunday Almeria to Cordoba by Car #SundayBlogShare

Seen today during the three-hour trip from Almería to Córdoba:

             Almost desert-like hills of Almería

                      The Mediteranean Sea to the left.

              There were plenty of tunnels carved into the mountains.

                                                   More dry hills.

Cordoba in the distance, at the foot of the mountain range called, Sierra Morena.

Is it only me, or do any of you find you get inspiration as someone else is driving you, while you’re taking photos, jotting ideas, writing some flash fiction, checking blog posts and twitter messages etc.

The journey always seems so short!

It was sad to leave my best friend, Anna and Viven, behind in Almería, but such is life. 

At least she had a lovely birthday party, paella and cake included in the menu! 

Here’s the proof:

              Happy Birthday Anna with Vivien and Lucy!

                 I love Almerimar!

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match #friendship

This post was written in response to Ben Huberman’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is A Good Match   Join in!

I’m fortunate enough to have quite a few best friends, who have become special to me over the years. The negative aspect is that many of them live far away, and by far I mean a plane trip away, so I don’t see them as often as I’d like to.

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Gabriela and Lucy at a staff meeting last June.

Gabriela is one of the best friends I miss. We’ve been friends and colleagues for about ten years. When I met Gabriela,  she was single and footloose and fancy free! Now she has a wonderful husband and two lovely children. Since then we go put even more because her children and my grandchildren are the same age and they get on famously, so we go on plenty of outings together and have fun with the children.

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Gabriela and Lucy making a cake!

But this year she’s working in Iowa and I live in the south of Spain, so although we skype and chat on whatsapp frequently, we’re living on different continents, and I miss her a lot.

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I miss her laughter, the shared coffees at school breaks, writing up reports together and preparing activities with our students.

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Gabriela and Lucy having a coffee and cake during school mid-morning break

I also miss baking biscuits with her, taking the children to the fun fair, and going to the cinema together.

We’re definitely a good match, probably even a great match. I know she’s also missing her family and friends in Spain, so she’s going to love reading this post.💗

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Gabriela and Lucy having fun at the Fair last May.

Fortunately she’s coming to Spain for  short break next month, so I can stop missing her for a short time!

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Gabriela and Lucy winding down after a busy week with a glass of wine!

She cheers me up when I’m fed up, she listens and consoles me when I’m feeling annoyed, and she encourages me when I want to give up, and I do the same for her. 

I don’t know what I’d do without my best friends, and you?

My #Gapp_Week 1st August @Gapp_Week

  • What am I GRATEFUL for?

I’m grateful for friendship, yet again. Last week I met up with some of my cousins, who I only see every few years (we live quite far, and although we’re in touch, we hadn’t actually seen each other for a few years). Last week I also met up with a very good friend whom I hadn’t seen in a few years, Juan Luis. I met him and his family when I was thirteen and he was twelve, and we’ve been like cousins ever since. His older brother was actually my very first real boyfriend, and we all know how one never forgets their first love, because it’s always young, and fresh and innocent and only lives in our idealised memories… A quick (he had to work) coffee by the beach in Santander with Juan Luis was a highlight of the week for me 🙂

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Another good friend, I’ve known Loli for over 30 years, who loves baking cakes brought me  a cake she’d made and showed me her brand new engagement ring!

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The second thing I’m grateful for is that today’s the 1st of August, and as every year we spend the month in a rented sea-front flat near where my daughter lives, in Fuengirola. It’s wonderful to be near m daughter and grandchildren as we live in different cities the rest of the year (about 200kms away, I do see her some weekends, but not as much as I’d like). I love my temporary beach flat. I don’t actually use the flat much, because I spend most of the day on the terrace looking out to the sea. Bliss.

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  • What have I ACHIEVED? (Things I’ve done for myself)

I’ve started my fourth novel and amazingly, this is true, I’ve written 20,000 words, and more or less plotted it out. It’s a contemporary romantic suspense and it’s set in Spain. I can’t say much more yet, but I’m very excited with my new project.

I wonder what you think of this cover? I’m thinking of using it.

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  • What are am I PROUD of? Things I’ve done for others.

I’ve written a review for a fabulous novel I read last week, I Let You Go

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I’ve tweeted and retweeted other authors and checked out as many blog posts as I could.

I took my grandson to Madrid to visit the Real Madrid Stadium. He’s a big fan, so it’s something he’ll always remember!

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  • What are my PLANS for next week?

I’d like to met up with one of my readers I’ve met on Facebook, and some old friends in Marbella, I see very rarely.

I hope to have lots of fun with my grandchildren and write some more of my new novel…

I’m also behind in my reading, so I need to catch up!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

My #Gapp_Week 11th July @Gapp_Week

G is for Gratitude.

This week I’m grateful for friendship. I’ve been so busy with life, work and publishing my third novel in the past few months that I had forgotten about the joys of spending a whole evening with one of my best friends, Marta, who is also a neighbor and colleague (she’s also an English teacher, but works in another school).

We walked the dog, chatted about life in general and how we felt, exchanged news about family, discussed work-related matters, had a beer and a salad, laughed, and generally had a smashing time!

When I got home, well after midnight, I felt exhilarated and grateful that I had a friend to cheer me up and make me feel valued, even though we hadn’t seen each other for months.

I also made a mental note not to do that again, and to call up other friends I never seem to have time to call.

Sorry we didn’t take any pictures, but I’m sure she’ll crop up again in my Gapp_Weeks, and I’ll make sure you all see what she looks like and how much we laugh when we’re together.

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A is for Achievements.

I’ve achieved order in my life. I’ve moved, tidied and organized my study. It was a daunting task, because for the last few months I’ve been piling papers and notes and stuff in general haphazardly, and it wasn’t doing me any good. I had my reasons, end of term, book release and promotion… But it had to stop and fortunately, it has.

According to Feng shui, clutter creates an obstruction and stops the flow of positive energy, so they say. I’m no expert, but I can tell you I feel amazingly pleased and satisfied with my tidiness, and I’m sure clearing the clutter (and there was literally bags of it) makes me feel at peace.

I’ve also been uncluttering other rooms in my house and the front garden, and I’m feeling much lighter, as in unburdened and with a clearer mind, so it’s obviously a good idea!

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        My new study’s looking neater than ever!

P: What I’m proud of doing for others.

I’ve written three overdue reviews for three very different books. We all know how wonderful it is to read a novel and how hard it is to write a ‘proper’ review, which says more than ‘I loved it’. There’s nothing wrong with a few words, but I always try to make my reviews longer and more informative which takes time and thought, but as we also know it’s invaluable for authors and very helpful for potential readers.

Here they are: There’s a link to my review on the covers.

A contemporary family drama:

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An erotic romance set in London.

A touching memoir.

I’ll be posting more about these books and the authors soon.

I just thought I’d remind you about another post I wrote about why writers should read all sorts of novels including those and out of their comfort zone.

I’ve done lots of ‘little’ favours such as helping colleagues with an exam, another with a CV, posting a promotional post for a fellow writer, supporting other authors on Lucy Shares Lovely Books, (A Facebook page I manage and use to promote other authors), and retweeting motivational tweets and other authors’ work. But as always, I’ve recieved much more back from so many nice people I interact with in the real and virtual world 🙂

P: My Plans for next week:

Only one, and it’s the same as last week’s: I need to finish proof-reading the print copy of my third novel… Here I am with the proof copy.

Lucy and Midsummer

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Do you want to join in?

RULES (short version, longer explanation above):

Few rules. Life has enough of them!

1- Tell us about your GAPP_Week.

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.
  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .
  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.
  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

2- Pingback to Lucy’s GAPP_Week weekly post on my blog.

3- Add #GAPP_Week to your post title.

If you like, you can:

  • Write four sentences, 400 words, or 4,000 words!
  • Add pictures.
  • Join in every week, or whenever you like.
  • Write your post on Monday, or any other day of the week.
  • Check out other posts.
  • Add the logo to your post or to your page (when it’s available. I’m working on that!)
  • Retweet as much as you like!

Are you joining in?

Any suggestions?