Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Time to Heal by Mel Comley

A Time To Heal
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Captain Steed Ewing is given a hero status after the plane he was flying avoids a major disaster. Despite his heroics, he has months of recuperation ahead of him from the injuries he sustained.

Chloe Fullerton, in her role as Family Liaison Officer, is given the task of aiding the Captain’s recovery. It’s been two years since she lost the love of her life and swore she’d never fall in love again. But as soon as she sees Steed, her world is thrown into turmoil.

When Steed pronounces his love for Chloe and they’re getting to know each other better, Steed’s ex-wife turns up at the house with one intention…to split them up.

I'm a successful thriller writer on kindle. I started writing about ten years ago after I took early retirement and moved to France. My thrillers have sold over 60,000 copies since they were released in October last year.
I've also recently released a true paranormal story about an incident that happened in the first house we purchased in France, plus a collection of 'easy read' short stories. You can learn more about my books and read some samples on my blog.

When I'm not writing or reading I enjoy walking my dogs and keeping my three quarter acre garden in tiptop condition. 

In May 2011 I signed with a top New York agent because of the success of my novels. I'm looking forward to see how this pans out.


“MAYDAY! MAYDAY!” Come in London. This is flight CJ549, London do you read me?” With his brow covered in sweat, Captain Steed Ewing tried repeatedly to raise the alarm, in between exchanging worried glances with his co-pilot, Brad.

The plane continued to drop as one of the engines caught fire. Why in God’s name isn’t London responding?

Steed repeated the call and ordered his co-pilot to help him with the shuddering controls, still no response. He tore off his headphones and bashed them against his seat, hoping that would make them spring into life. It didn’t. “Brad, you try.”

His colleague placed the call over and over like a mantra, as the pair continued to struggle with the controls.

Louisa, the petite blonde in charge of the cabin crew, popped her head round the cockpit door. “Anything I can do, Captain?”

“Nothing, Louisa, you should be strapped in along with the other crew members. Now go!”

The plane was ten minutes away from Heathrow, that’s all. Come on, guys, where are you when we need you most?

“Any joy, Brad?” Halfway through his latest mayday call Brad shook his head. “Ok, keep trying. I need to speak to the passengers, to try and keep them calm.”

He sucked in a breath and let it out, then reached for the onboard intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Unfortunately, we’re experiencing some difficulties at present and are doing everything we can to put things right. Although one of the engines is on fire, I want to assure you there’s no need to panic, the engine has been isolated and we have the matter in hand. Heathrow is ten minutes away and you have my assurances we’ll do our utmost to bring this plane down safely.

“For safety reasons you must remain seated at all times. Please listen carefully to the instructions the cabin crew are about to issue. My co-pilot and I have almost twenty years flying experience between us and have dealt with similar situations before. Just to reassure you, all the outcomes have been positive. I’ll hand you over to Louisa now, please remain calm.”

Steed left his seat to search through the manuals for guidance, just then the radio crackled into life.

Thank God. He rushed back to his seat and picked up his headset. “Roger flight CJ549, we read you loud and clear. Can you tell us what your status is?”

“I’ll get it, Brad.” The vibrations had increased and Steed’s stomach churned as the London landmarks became visible in front of him.

“Good to hear you London. We have major problems, number one engine is on fire and we’re struggling to keep her from falling. We need to know if you’ll accept us or wish us to divert to a nearby landing strip. We’re fully loaded, that’s four hundred passengers and twelve crew.”

They waited, their breaths sucked in as the tower worked out what to do about their predicament. It seemed an eternity before they responded.

“Flight CJ549, we suggest you stay on course for your scheduled runway. I repeat, stay on course. Emergency services are on standby. The airspace has been cleared. Any luck putting out the fire?”

What does he think we can do, go out on the wing and put it out with a fire extinguisher?

“That’s a negative London. The fire is still going strong. Over to you to guide us in.”

“Roger CJ549. Let’s get this big bird in. I’m Terry, by the way. I need you to lower your altitude to five hundred feet and drop your landing gear.”

“Jesus…Steed, take a look.”

Steed glanced over at the troubled engine and saw the fire had spread to the engine alongside it. Damn!

But when Brad pulled the lever to drop the landing gear their problems multiplied. “The darn thing won’t open.” He pushed and pulled on the lever and received the same result. No response.

“Brad, talk to me?”

“That’s two engines out, Captain and no landing gear…”

He watched the colour drain from his co-pilot’s face and unmistakable fear settle in his brown eyes. Steed’s stomach constricted, he swallowed noisily, cleared his throat and spoke to the control tower in a calm assertive voice.

“London, we have another major problem to contend with, our landing gear is refusing, I repeat, our landing gear is refusing to engage.”

Interview with Mel Comley

What will readers like about your book? 
At the time of writing this A Time to Heal has yet to be released. I'm hoping the readers will see it as a nice gentle read.

Why did you self publish? 
I love the immmediacy of self-publishing, once the story is written and the editor has torn it apart, the novel can be uploaded straight away. Something that just doesn't happen in traditional publishing where waiting two years to see your books sitting on bookshelves isn't unheard of.

What is your writing process? 
I spend a few weeks planning the plot and characters before settling down to write. I mainly write in the morning and sit down to market my books in the afternoon.

How long does it take you to write your first draft? 
It can vary, my thrillers, due to the amount of research I have to carry out, can take anything up to 18 months to write. The romances which tend to be shorter, usually take between five to six months.

What inspired you to write this particular story? 
I actually wrote A Time to Heal ten years ago and sent it off to Mills and Boon, who promptly rejected it. It wasn't until my fans started asking me this year, if I had ever thought of writing in a different genre, I decided to resurrect Disaster Flight as it used to be called. I loved the story anyway, so it was no great hardship to sit down and do the necessary editing needed to make it into the cracking story it is today.

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