Love is evolutionary…
“Gracefully written, carefully researched, and always alert to the issues it raises, the dual narrative of Stephanie Bretherton’s debut novel reaches far across time to relate the interwoven stories of two women – a genetic scientist addressing the complexities of contemporary experience, and one of our earliest ancestors as she engages in a physical and spiritual ordeal of survival. Bone Lines is a brave and moving adventure of the imagination.” – Lindsay Clarke, author of The Chymical Wedding
“A monument to the timelessness of human nature, and a work of art... a masterpiece of pacing. Bretherton ignites her characters with a life, complexity, a personality with which any number of readers will identify and empathise with. The author should be as overjoyed as I was impressed with this debut novel (the first, I hope, of many).” – Naomi Moore, Editor, New Orbit literary magazine
“Bretherton weaves a cat’s cradle of human history, from the panoramic overview to day-to-day existence. An accomplished debut ...one to watch.” – Su Bristow, author of Sealskin
“Opening up new worlds... what powerful fiction does best... a novel to be appreciated on many different levels. Ambitious and brave yet effortlessly pulled off...Like Sapiens ...if fictionalised and seen through the eyes of two fierce and admirable women.” – Zero Filter Books
"A brilliant, genre-defying read, Bone Lines deftly unravels the wonder of oneness," – Barbara Bos, Editor, Women Writers, Women’s Books.
“Compelling... the story drew me in completely... a fascinating read,” – Cheryl Morgan-Muir, book blogger
A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but not without hope or resources. A skilful hunter, she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive.
In present-day London, geneticist Dr Eloise Kluft wrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.
Bone Lines is the story of two women, separated by millennia yet bound by the web of life. A tale of love and survival – of courage and the quest for wisdom – it explores the nature of our species and asks what lies at the heart of being human.
Although partly set during a crucial era of human history 74,000 years ago, Bones Lines is very much a book for our times. Dealing with themes from genetics, climate change and migration to the yearning for meaning and the clash between faith and reason, it also paints an intimate portrait of who we are as a species. The book tackles some of the big questions but requires no special knowledge of any of the subjects to enjoy.
The snow has stopped and the wind is weakening. The horizon offers many choices, but it is the rise straight ahead that is drawing her. More draining on her dwindling reserves, but with the promise of greater protection and resources if it yields what she hopes it will. She is further south than any of her band imagined could be gained with safety but she can see that this territory once offered great bounty. It is a chance she must take, though she knows that such opportunity might also mean competition.
She is right to have chosen this way. The loose stones gradually grow into boulders and into craggy walls and then open up to weaving pathways between them. There is growth preserved within this sheltering ground. She will gather up some fallen branches to tie together and carry away, in case their journey takes them through barren land again. She senses that other kinds of life may be hiding here, though she sees no tracks yet, the snowfall is too fresh. Even so, this would be a good place to set multiple traps and wait. She takes note of all the best positions for a snare, then selects a winding walkway and pushes forward.
And then she knows that they are not alone.
Her pace quickens with her pulse. Every sense springs to readiness, blade-sharp and alert. Skin prickles over muscles that are both tight and yet ready for action. She listens beyond the breeze, smells the dusty heartbeat of the earth. This is the feeling of the chase. Except this time, they are the prey.
She has heard it, felt it, knows it is circling them… following. How big? Too big to fight. Too powerful, probably, to outrun. Is there anywhere safe to climb? But then they will have to outwait it and they can’t. It is a battle of patience she may not win. She knows she must outsmart it.
Every name tells a beautiful story (yes, yours too)
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Hopefully all you wonderful people have received your books by now? The paperbacks should have arrived in the post for those who pledged for them and there should be download links for the e-books in all relevant inboxes? So, all that’s left to say for now is that I hope you enjoy reading and feel that backing Bones Lines has been worthwhile (and, if so, please tell anyone who might give a hoot about…
Revelations, reviews and rewards: Cover! 5 out of 5*! Last orders!
Thursday, 19 July 2018
We are on the home straight my lovely supporters! And now is the last chance to persuade a mate to back the book, or to buy a special first edition and have someone else’s name printed in it as a gift, or to upgrade a pledge reward (the frontispiece dedication is still available!) because the list closes on Sunday the 22nd at midnight.
So to keep up the encouragement and anticipation, heremis…
Mr Darwin has been deed polled! (new title announcement)
Monday, 18 June 2018
Greetings lovely supporters, Charles and I have some news. After close consultation with our publisher and for very strong reasons, we have decided on a title change!
Dear Mr Darwin has very graciously stepped aside in favour of a new name for the book designed to add more impact, intrigue and genre fluidity while better reflecting the dual narrative (rather than seeming to be solely about a character…
Edits, typos and surprising underwear...
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Dear (wonderfully patient) supporters
I am happy to say that another crucial stage of the book’s evolution is complete and the final edit of the manuscript has been returned to my (also very patient) publisher for the copyedit process. “Wait,” I here you say, “I thought all the bloomin’ editing was done?”
Well, yes, but… this is now the (hopefully quick) stage in which, after all that messing…
And ... breathe!
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Hello lovely book lovers!
Well, I am finally coming up for air after handing in the first structural edit. What an intense but fascinating and enjoyable experience that was (ok, not always so enjoyable and occasionally a little ‘confronting’ but that’s all part of the authorial curve :) I did love being back with my characters again and it was fun to create some new material for them and…
Happy New Year! (Head down editing...)
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Hello dear supporters and Happy New Year!
Forgive the recent silence but I have taken my much needed annual break (and essential brain rest, at a time when I can close my PR office between Christmas and New Year) while also taking time to digest some of the ideas in the first structural edit, which came back just before Christmas!
It has certainly started the cogs turning, as while very positive…
Seasons wishes and some donkey-drawn thanks
Monday, 11 December 2017
Since funding I have taken some time to fine-tune my manuscript before handing it over to my editor at Unbound for the first structural edit. That is due back just before Christmas when I will have the opportunity to consider all suggestions and see how I can further improve or correct the book, before its next incarnation.
So, on the theme of nativity / rebirth / the joy of books, herewith…
YAY! 100% funded! (imagine, if you will, that I am now dancing a merry jig :)
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
There's not much more to say right now than:
THANK YOU ALL!!!
You are wonderful people, each and every one, and I will do my very best to justify your faith in me.
Once I know more about the next steps and their timings I will be in touch. Right now there are bubbles to imbibe / get down me neckkk (scouse DNA will out.)
What a few weeks! 89%, and £264 raised in donations to hurricame relief
Friday, 13 October 2017
A crazy few weeks with the 'day job' (including the must-have IT issues when at most hectic, of course) but lovely silver linings have formed by hitting 89% funding, (including the backing of a writer I very much admire. Though of course, I madly love and admire every single person who has taken the trouble to back me. Heroes, every one of you. What's more the double your dough donations thing raised…
Video footage of dragons, and the double-your-dough-donations tally, so far
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Ok, not real dragons (because they exist, after all) but at least a dragon's den. Ok, not the real Dragon's Den, but a literary one at Waterstone's Gower Street, in which yours truly channelled all relevant experience of pitching/pleading/presenting/performing/prostrating-herself/pity-seeking and any other relevant 'p' words to get past that so-near-I-can-taste-the-prosecco finish line.
Caribbean needs your help (me, my characters and Mr Darwin will be good for a bit)
Saturday, 9 September 2017
Hello, been a bit distracted past few days with the horrors of hurricane #Irma, especally as I have a very close bond with the Virgin Islands (US and British). I am sure you have all seen the devastation, no need to elaborate on the suffering. (Several supporters here are from there and have family there, two are stranded there right now.) There are many help efforts being co-ordinated, please see…
Poems! Poems! Come and get your lovely poems! (New rhyme-peddling pledge rewards)
Thursday, 31 August 2017
Sooo... two new pledges, Sapien Special and Word to the Wise mean that you get a #bespoke #poem in advance of your book-in-wating! Come on, surely you know someone who needs a handful of couplets? Can't sleep without a sonnet? Needs to feel the freedom of the open verse? And it's a flamin' bargain too! Here's an example that might shame many a proper poet, but which this poor rhyme peddlar is happy…
Can you tell a story in 75 words? (Paragraph Planet thinks so.)
Monday, 21 August 2017
Hello you lovely people... Don't worry, not asking for anything! Just wanted to share my 75 word story which featured on Paragraph Planet today (21/8/17). As it will be up for today only, and I am not sure when you will see this update, here is both the link, and the full paragraph copied in below. (Not that anyone as rational as us lot believe in good omens or anything, but I am loving that this…
She needs you ...
Friday, 18 August 2017
Help her get there... or to those who already have, please share with anyone else you can think of who loves a great #story with #kickasswomen doing a bit of #science and a lot of #survival and keeping that #human #DNA going, while also doing some #loving when they can, and trying to stay#courageous #curious #coolpeople in the meantime! Get those #booklovers on board to #preorder their #holidayreading…
Don't you know how magnificent you are? (Warning, video content. Of me.)
Saturday, 12 August 2017
Facebook buddies may have already seen this, but in case it's of interest (especially to those who like to see authors torturing themselves) here's a video of a 5 minute pitch for pre-orders of the book, filmed live at a pub in Peckham. (Well it's the very nice Beer Shop in Nunhead, actually, but I'm a sucker for alliteration, so I am stretching the geography.) Thanks to the other Unbound authors…
Thank heaven there is beer
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Feeling very thankful - several lovely pledges this week and to be counted in the company of the amazing group that make up the Unbound author family (and it really does feel like a family.) And on Thursday night I get to push myself into a whole new world of abandoned pride with a pledge party in a Peckham pub (and I wasn't even trying for the evil that is alliteration. Though as evils go, it is…
Sorry, Sir Isaac (but at least the cat is named after you.)
Friday, 4 August 2017
...and he liked cats, apparently. More than people. Well, we are a bloody difficult, complex lot, eh? And yet extraordinary. Capable of so much, for good or bad. #Fiction #withabitofscience #butmostlystorytelling #withcharactersyoumightlike #onthehumanadventure #lifeisalwaysevolving #lovekeepsusgoing
Saturday, 29 July 2017
What defines our elusive sense of coming home? My novel, Dear Mr Darwin, features a marathon journey in which the protagonist is seeking refuge far from her native terrain. She is, in essence, an exile, forcibly estranged from the familiar.
Often it is only in retrospect that a writer realises her characters have emerged not only from imagination, or hours of research, or the initial…
Dear Mr Darwin: We were all migrants once...
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
#humanity #courage #compassion #competition #cooperate #moreincommon #history #science #adapt #survive #nothingstandsstill
#earth #theonlylifeweknowofforsureintheuniverseishere #wearesoluckytobehereatall #ancientancestors #journey #evolution #trialanderror #astonishing #universe #lifeforce #keeplearning #keeptrying #keepsharing
Apologies, Charles... (and anyone who has already pledged!)
Saturday, 1 July 2017
In search of excellence... Why it's worthwhile getting a little extra help from the experts...
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
How lovely to be featured on The Literary Consultancy website! (And for the experts to call my book 'excellent' ! )
(Can't recommend these guys enough...)
24 (thrilling) hours in in the world of crowdfunded publishing....
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Thanks so much for all the fantastic reactions and support for Dear Mr Darwin so far! It's been just over 24 hours since going live and it's all so very exciting and positive. This book, this labour of love, a piece of work that I have enjoyed every minute of creating, is written and ready and raring to go! (Bar, of course the highly valued editing, input, design, advice etc., from the lovely, lovely…
These people are helping to fund Bone Lines.