Westwood was my very first novel, drafted for NaNoWriMo 2018 and finishing up at just over 50,000 words. Although I'm not extremely proud of the story itself, this book did make the beginning of an exciting journey with two of my oldest and dearest characters, Joshua and Amelia. Their lives in late 1800's Britain have been playing out in my mind for nearly five years now and have led to me writing (twice actually) the sprawling sequel, Miss Saunders, which is currently sitting at 110,000 words. I love escaping to their world of ballrooms and bustles, mines and mills, and gaining a better understanding of what it was like to live through their time period. They're just the sweetest characters - although Joshua can be quite stubborn sometimes - and I can't wait to find out more about them when I write the two books left in their series somewhere in the near future (after I actually edit the current one (; )
When fifteen-year-old Joshua Westwood is framed for a crime he didn't commit - the intentional collapse of a tunnel resulting in the deaths of other miners - he is forced to disappear. Escaping from the clutches of the Yorkshire police, he makes his way to London in the hopes that one of his late father's old friends - a lawyer - can help him clear his name. Although he has the help of the upper-class Amelia Saunders and a street rat named Jack, between backstreet gangs, sinister circuses and a family rift, it looks less and less likely that Joshua will make it back to his family... and escape the scaffold.
Drafted 2021, in editing
After losing his job and the only home he’s ever known, Joshua Westwood is forced to rely on the charity of the upper-class Saunders to support his family. While staying in their townhouse and job-hunting around London, he slowly begins to fall in love with their romance-disappointed daughter, who makes him feel appreciated for the first time in years. But with pressing money matters, a class worlds apart, an ailing sister and a rich, competitive suitor, there are too many reasons why it could all go wrong.