FoundationΒ is my first novel and the opening book of The Crossing Lives Trilogy. I am more than halfway through the editing stage and therefore thought that increasing my number of beta readers by sharing some extracts on my blog would be a good idea.

Please be honest and do let me know what you think. If you do not want to leave a comment you are welcome to send me an email or to reach me through my contact form. Thank you for reading!




Keira’s footsteps were soft but determined on the hard, leaf-covered ground. She was inhaling the crisp late night air deeply and could feel the eagerness and anticipation building up in her chest. She loved spending time in the forest, feeling the energy of the majestic trees and the much more humble plants around her, being one with them. Liam was on his way too and soon they would be reunited again. She had managed to leave the mansion where she lived with her sisters and her parents without waking up anyone. Even her faithful Clodagh, an older woman who had been looking after her for as long as Keira could remember, had not so much as stirred in her sleep. Her family would not worry about her absence, as it was common for Keira to wander around in the early hours of the morning or to take her mare out for a ride. What she had feared had someone noticed her getting up was questions, or worse, the proposal to join her. It was as though the gods and spirits of the forest had been protecting her, impatient for her to join them.

Keira O’Connor came from a noble family living on the outskirts of Kelaney, a cathedral town by the river Nore, in the southeast of Ireland. Her opinionated father, Geraghty, was highly respected as one of the main landowners and the beauty and kindness of her mother, Morgayne was praised for miles around. Keira was their eldest daughter and had just turned twenty-two. Her sisters, Muirne and Grainne, were two and seven years younger. She had inherited Morgayne’s harmonious but strong features and her unusual golden eyes, but her mother’s hair was fair. Her father’s dark hair, as well as his temper, had been prevalent in the mixing of the genes.

As she was wandering through the forest, Keira slipped into the reverie of her first encounter with Liam. His trade was to take care of horses, and as so many others before him he had one day turned up at the manor asking for employment. Keira had been standing on the narrow covered gallery outside of her bedroom when she had spotted him standing in the paved courtyard below. Her steps had faltered and she had felt a bit light headed. It had been instant attraction, but there was more: Recognition was the correct way of describing her emotion. This unknown man was going to play a very important role in her life, she was certain of it. The young woman had placed him in his early thirties and had been hypnotised by his sky blue eyes. Liam Gallaway had copper coloured hair, his skin was lightly tanned from working mainly outside, and he was tall and very muscular. She had at last taken a step down the stairs. The movement of her long burgundy dress had caught Liam’s eye and he had looked up sharply. The directness of his stare had actually made her blush, not a common occurrence for Keira. Liam had then taken a step back as if the apparition was having a physical impact on him. In the end he had slowly bent his head and crossed his right arm on his chest, resting a scarred hand on his heart. Keira had squinted and then frowned, thinking that the scars looked like old burns. The moment had been over too quickly for her to ponder further. Liam had raised his head again just as Geraghty’s foreman was walking towards him. From that moment on he had completely ignored Keira’s presence, even as she had walked past him, almost brushing against his shoulder. Liam had been hired on the spot as one of the grooms working in their impressive stables. Keira, who had been pretending to be busy in the courtyard just to eavesdrop on the conversation, had felt herself bursting with joy as she had heard the welcome news.

Writing Bubble


Nikki Young Writes


44 thoughts on “Foundation |
First Extract

  1. Ooh I like it! The style was unexpected, very different from the real blogging you. The attention to detail is good, I love the names – very authentic.

    1. You are right, it is quite different, but surprising is good! πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for your compliments, really glad you liked it. xx

    1. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, Emma, it means a lot! πŸ™‚ I promise to sign you a copy but the first step is to find a literary agent… Wish me luck! xx

  2. Hi hun. Thanks for sharing this with me. It’s very brave to put it ‘out there’!
    I absolutely love some of your descriptions….the ‘golden eyes’ is really pretty story-telling.
    I would maybe cut some of the excess words in a couple of places to make it even more impactful, e.g. “What she had feared…..was questions. Or worse, blah blah.” There’s nothing wrong with the words in between, but they’re a bit distracting from the point of the sentence.
    I really hope this is constructive. It sounds like it will be a novel full of mystery and passion. The very, very best of luck to you with it. Writing a novel is not as easy as it looks, I know!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for reading, for your detailed comment and for the good wishes! It is definitely constructive, I have cut down on “unnecessary” words already but there is always room for improvement… πŸ˜‰
      Second extract next Thursday so I hope you will be back! xx

  3. Well done, way to go!
    First, I want more. Honestly, this is what I thought when I finished reading the first extract. I’m reading a lot and can usually tell from the first few paragraphs if a book captures my attention, and this one does. I also like the humour in the narrator’s voice.
    I’ll email you directly with more details regarding a few other things I don’t want to bore everybody with. I can be a bit of a bean counter when it comes to spelling and such…

    1. Thank you so much, it is very nice to count you amongst my “fans”! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the email too, will reply tomorrow. xx

  4. Well being Irish, I of course approve!……………On a serious constructive note though, I like it, I like it a lot, I would read it, I would buy it. This type of novel and story is right up my street. I love the era that it starts off in, I like the sense of history and the sense of thrill of what is to come. I look forward to the next extract. πŸ™‚

    1. I am glad you approve… πŸ™‚ I am also very happy you were drawn into the story by these opening pages and to read that you would buy it! πŸ˜€
      The next extract might however surprise you… πŸ˜‰ xx

  5. I totally ‘bought’ into the woodland imagery; a little bit dark and mysterious. I’d love to know how ‘Foundation’ fits into the trilogy – do you have a synopsis?

    I agree that your sentences are beautifully written, but could be less wordy; although as scene-setting, it does work well.

    Thanks for sharing x.

    1. That is what I like to hear: My words conjuring up images in the reader’s mind! πŸ™‚
      Yes, I do have a synopsis but was advised against publishing it on my blog. The extract next week might give you a clue on the overall theme of the book… πŸ˜‰
      Comment taken on board regarding less words.
      Thanks for reading. xx

  6. As you can imagine, I won’t correct your English style πŸ˜€ but I can give my humble opinion about the story.

    First I’m surprised, I was waiting for a modern story and it’s a middle-age story and I LOVE IT ! And in Ireland, a so mysterious country for me ! πŸ˜€ Very good idea !

    I like a lot the firstnames too πŸ˜›

    I would like to read more to see in which direction you think to go. πŸ˜›

    1. LOL! Your opinion is much appreciated.
      I am glad I managed to surprise you, and that you love it! πŸ™‚
      Next Thursday you will learn more… πŸ˜‰ xx

  7. I read this twice so I could get sense of the subtext. Given you are writing in this period, I’ll bet you’ve done A LOT of research. I really enjoyed the tone and style – it felt in keeping with that time in history somehow. I enjoyed the start – it really drew me in – the subtext for me being a hidden love affair – daddy isn’t going to like it is he? Enjoying the company of the stable hand! Also, I am very curious about the scars on his hand – where did those come from. I think the thing for me is that you are drawn in immediately ans you want to know more – which is the name of the story telling game! Very impressed this is going to be a trilogy. X.

    1. Thank you for your detailed comment! Yes, I did quite a bit of research, I wanted the story to be as authentic as possible. Enjoyed doing it. Glad you like the style and that it drew you in. Wondering what you are going to make out of the second extract? πŸ˜‰ xx

  8. Love the descriptive writing style, helped paint a picture of the area in my head, and of the characters! Intrigued to read more! Well done you! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Emma! πŸ™‚ I hope you will come back tomorrow for the second extract… πŸ˜‰ xx

  9. Hi Katia joon,

    I finally read it…. Better late than never eh! πŸ™‚ I have been so busy with my new job.

    I read it and I really like it. The names, the imagery, the detailed descriptiveness of what is not told… Beautiful! Look forward to read more.


    1. Hey Ardeshir,

      Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot. And so happy you really like it. πŸ™‚ xx

  10. The woodland imagery is very strong and contrasts well with the grandeur of her life. The piece is rich with context of the period, which makes it very easy to sink in to. Loved the first meeting where she was sure he would feature more prominently which left me feeling like I want to know more about how their relationship develops and how this affects her relationship with her parents.
    Thank you for linking up with #whatimwriting xx

    1. Thank you so much for that detailed comment, Chrissie. πŸ™‚
      I am very happy to read you enjoyed the extract and that it sparked your interesting!
      Glad I found your great linky, such a good idea! πŸ™‚ xx

  11. I love the imagery of the woodland scene and it feels like there’s going to be a powerful romance developing! The only thing I’m wondering is if there would be a way to make the scene of their meeting present tense rather than past? Like, say a prologue where we feel it as Keira feels it rather than as she remembers it? I like present tense for the power it can have. Just a thought. A very atmospheric opener! Thanks so much for linking to #WhatImWriting – it’s really interesting to see a book at the editing stage. I can see exciting stuff in your future!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragements, Maddie. πŸ˜€ It really means a lot.
      I had not thought about using the present tense, worth exploring.
      Thanks for hosting this great linky. πŸ™‚ xx

  12. I love the fact that there is so much promise in this first scene. There is the romance between two young people and something obviously happened to Liam. I agree with Maddie, that I would have liked to see some dialogue to get a real sense of feeling between the two young lovers, so perhaps going back to when they first met and trying to let that electricity show through. I was thinking flashback, but a prologue is a good idea too. Thanks for sharing on #FridayFiction.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback, Nicola.
      I am very pleased to read that the promise in the first scene comes through.
      There is quite a lot of dialogue in the first chapter, hence my choice not to have any right at the beginning. Food for thought all the same… πŸ˜‰ xx

  13. This really drew me in and has left me wanting to know more about Keira and Liam; you introduce a lot of different strands of story, which is great. I agree with some earlier comments that some of the sentences could be a little simpler, but I love how descriptive it is, really sets the scene x #FridayFiction

    1. Thank you Sara, I do love to read that my story has drawn you in. πŸ™‚
      I am aware of being over-descriptive at times and work on correcting this when I edit. xx

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