This month we’re celebrating March, and the part it played in my first novel, The Distant Shore.
I wrote this book seven years ago, mostly to entertain myself while I supervised the detention room at the local middle school. There were many hours when there were no students to talk to, calm down, help with their work, so I began bringing in my laptop.
Stuck between bookshelves, looking out at a neat row of tables and chairs, I dipped into the exciting world of Jon Stone and Naomi, his first and only love.
While the smell of iffy school lunches drifted along the corridors and up the stairway, I was standing with Jon Stone—brilliant musician and rock star—on the deck of his Malibu house while he read the letter that will take him around the world to find his lost love. I was with him as he stood outside the small hotel in Norway where he wondered what to do next. Would he go inside and confront Naomi? Or would he walk away and let bygones be bygones?
He was freezing, standing there in the wind and snow of a Norwegian March day, his silk shirt and leather jacket useless against the cold.
I stood inside the hotel with Naomi when she realized that the tall, dark-haired man talking to the receptionist was her beloved, Jon. How could she not recognize his voice, the beautiful baritone that won him so many fans all over the world? How could she not fall in love all over again?
I had no idea where The Distant Shore would take me.
I was happily bumbling through the story, exploring byways and sidetracks, tweeting about it to my friends, sharing snippets on my blog and Facebook, never thinking about publishing it. It was my sweet parallel world where I went to play whenever I had time. Everything was perfect.
Until a publisher found me on Twitter. They read my blog, they found the excerpts. And they wanted the full manuscript, now.
I replied that it wasn’t ready. They said they’d wait.
The next six weeks were sheer terror. I got up at five in the morning and edited.
I went to school and my detention room and edited.
I came home, made supper for my family, and edited.
I carved a 136,000 publishable novel out of my tome of over 400,000 words.
I submitted it. And it got accepted.
This story is true.
Now, seven years later, my publisher Buddhapuss Ink has released five of my books—the Stone Series—about Jon and Naomi, their family and friends, their children, their hopes and dreams, their love, their life.
I am living the writer’s dream.
Title: A Distant Shore by Mariam Kobras
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Independent Publisher Book Award for Romance
Amazon #1 Bestseller – Contemporary Romance
There’s nothing like receiving a letter from a teenage son you knew nothing about, but that’s what happens to international rock star, Jonathon Stone. He drops everything to find the boy, and his mother—Naomi, the girl he loved so many years ago who left him when his rock n’ roll life became too much for her to bear.
Seeing her is like falling in love all over again, and everything seems perfect, until someone sets out to destroy their idyllic life.
Three-time Independent Publisher’s Book Award Winner, Mariam was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Growing up, she and her family lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia before they decided to settle in Germany. Mariam attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen. Today she lives and writes in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons, and two cats.
Purchase A Distant Shore on Amazon
The flight will be a little rough,” the pilot informed him, “I’ll take you along the coast so you can see something of the landscape, all right?”
Jon was not quite sure he liked his cavalier attitude toward the miserable weather. Fear was weakening the drive that had pushed him this far around the globe, afraid that he was doing something incredibly stupid and that the outcome would be too much to bear. And now, coasting along the shoreline of this rugged country, past soaring snow-covered mountains, over dark gray water that was capped by white breakers, an Atlantic storm buffeting the plane, this fear poured over him like icy slush.
He regretted not having brought Sal, at last seeing the sense in his admonition to take someone with him who would keep a clear head.
The wing of the plane dipped as they passed through a gap in the high hills, past a couple of small islands, and into the bay with a village at its end.
“There.” The pilot pointed, but Jon had seen it already.
There was a yellow wooden building with a red gabled roof and white trim. It sat right on the water, and behind it, rising into the gentle swell of a forested hillside, the little town itself. A white church with steeples sat nestled among greenery above the houses, looking down on the pier. To the right, just beside the hotel, a small inlet separated the town from a fishing wharf, just big enough to hold five trawlers and a sort of depot.
The landing was not as bad as he’d expected.
Using a cigarette as an excuse, Jon lingered in the cold. Here he was, on her doorstep, and now, after many hours of travel, his courage failed him.
The entrance to the hotel lay right on the corner of the pier, the small square of red tiles separated from the water by a wooden railing and a low wall following the curve of the bay to the dock where a couple of yachts rested. From where he stood he could see along the deck at the side of the hotel. There were some folded deck chairs, forgotten now in deep winter, but a reminder that even here there would be days to sit outside and enjoy a semblance of warmth.
The sun had come out, and the wind was not as rough, broken by the surrounding hills, but the temperature was just as vicious, just as bitter. It was so quiet. A bell was ringing somewhere, a single car passed by, two men strolled down the cobbled street along the pier, the collars of their thick woolen jackets turned up, a flock of seagulls swirled over the choppy water, but that was all. The air was so tart, it stung his nostrils, the light so clear it made him squint. At long last he tossed away the butt.
Seventeen years had changed him from the young man who had just made his first big step toward stardom and into the music icon he was now. Yet here he was, just as pathetic as he’d been then, pleading for love from the same woman.