31 March 2013

Snippet Sunday 31-03-13 WWW


Thank you to everyone who visited last week and to those who left comments. Your thoughts are always appreciated.
For today's Sunday Snippet I'm continuing where I left off last week, a little ways into the beginning of a new WIP (working title Horseshoe 1) 

Again I don't have names for my characters at this stage hence the 'he' and 'she.'

This week I have also joined the Weekend Writing Warriors 

“It is you who trespasses madam.” The hauteur in the intruder’s voice sent shivers down her spine. “This is my home, and I do not tolerate insubordination from my subjects, regardless of their beauty.”

What kind of pompous idiot talked like that?  “I don’t know what you’re on, but you’re obviously out of your tiny mind.  This—” she spun round, her arm outstretched to encompass the room and the rest of the building beyond it, “—is my home and has been for the last three years.”

When his cold, disbelieving eyes stared back at her she rushed on. “If you don’t believe me ask monsieur Freemont at Ashworthy’s real estate agency in town, I bought it from them."
 
That's it for this week, :-) Thanks for coming by and you'll find lots more free-read snippets at Snippet Sunday  and Weekend Writing Warriors 

 

30 March 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample 30-03-13

 
 
 
Time for Sweet Saturday Sample again, and this week I'm continuing from where I left off last time one of my Gasquet Princes WsIP, its working title - Sacha's Story.
 
Instinct could be twisted, but the stranger’s first mistake validated his instinctive belief in the switch.  Now they had to find out the true identity of the new arrival and who was pulling these new and alarming strings.
He’d suspect Charles deBonet if the man hadn’t died when Liam and Paxman rescued Melanie…
Then who?
And where was Simeon?
“Wait.”  Sacha wanted to shrug off Liam’s restraining hand on his shoulder. Wanted to face the imposter who dared to impersonate his twin, but he forced himself to face Liam.
“What?”
“Precisely man, what are you going to do?” Liam dropped his hand and tunnelled his fingers through his hair. “If this man realises we are on to him, he’ll inform his controllers as soon as he leaves here.” Liam paused, stroked his chin and nodded. “If he is still alive Simeon’s life may depend on what we do during the next few hours."
 
You'll find more talented writers' offerings at Sweet Saturday Sample

 


27 March 2013

Kelly Martin and Saint Sloan

I want to thank Sherry for having me on her blog today!! Today is a big day for me: a huge one day blog tour extravaganza! I’m on 12 blogs (eek!) talking about my new book SAINT SLOAN.

Saint Sloan deals with sexual assault, peer pressure, faith, love, and loyalty. It’s a ‘clean’ novel which means no cussing, pink parts, or anything like that. But, I’m not going to lie, it’s one of the darker stories I’ve written. Still, it’s gotten great reviews on Amazon and people have been begging for a sequel (great news! I’m writing TWO of them!! So Sloan will be a trilogy!!)

Excerpt from SAINT SLOAN.
A honk from her driveway made her throw the paper down, grab her dark purple backpack, and run out the back door next to the stove. She grabbed her old black coat and wished it was the beautiful gray one she left at Boyd’s. With the pastry dangling from her mouth, she jogged to the passenger side of Mackenzie’s silver Honda Accord.

“Took ya long enough,” Mackenzie said, throwing the car in reverse and speeding down the driveway. She wore faded jeans, a white shirt under an emerald colored coat, and lime green sneakers. Her thick red hair hung in curls to her shoulder blades. It always reminded Sloan of a lion’s mane when she wore it down like that.

“Sorry, Monday after vacation and all.” Sloan put her seatbelt on, trying to juggle her breakfast and talk at the same time: way too much to do at once on a Monday morning.

“Bet you won’t be so slow tomorrow,” Mackenzie laughed. “We still on for the movies Saturday to celebrate?”


“Of course.” Sloan beamed. “My first movie as an official adult.”

“You’ll miss me when I’m gone.”

“And you’ll drive. Finally. My tires need a rest from carting you around so much.”

“Like the plague,” Mackenzie teased, accelerating the car a few miles over the speed limit.

“Speaking of carting, why are we going too fast?”


“Don’t wanna be late.”

Sloan leaned over and checked the clock on the dash. “We’re not going to be late. It’s only 7:30. We have plenty of time.”

One side of Mackenzie’s mouth quirked up. “I still have to pick up Travis.”


“Travis? Travis Baylock? You’re taking him to school now, too?”

“At least he didn’t leave me to fend for myself at a party.”

Ouch. “I told you I was sorry about that. I felt bad about it, but I couldn’t deal with Darcy any more. Plus I didn’t want to bother you and Travis. I would have come back if you needed me. You know that.”

“I know. I’m teasing,” she grinned playfully, which made Sloan relax. “I could drive myself home. I didn’t drink, remember? You’re not the only person in the world who doesn’t.”

“I’m glad about that.” Sloan meant every word.

Mackenzie turned on the blinker and pulled into Travis’s driveway. His house resembled Sloan’s except it was brick instead of white siding like hers was.



Travis sat on the porch steps, tapping the concrete with a stick. He threw it down and jumped up when he saw the car. Sloan could understand why Mackenzie liked him so much. His dark hair hung in loose curls near his ears, and his eyes were chocolate brown. Blessed with a football player’s build, he hadn’t played since freshman year. Boyd told Sloan when they were dating that it was a waste of natural talent. Personally, she didn’t care either way. In her mind, football players were just like everyone else.

“This isn’t too weird, is it?” Mackenzie asked a little too late because Travis had almost made it to the car. “Since he’s Boyd’s best friend and all.”

“We’ve been broken up for months. It’s okay. I’m over him.” And most of her was. Only a small part missed him. He had been a great kisser.


Travis crawled in the backseat and scooted to the middle. He had on a steel-colored gray shirt with some sort of black graffiti on it under an open black jacket and black jeans. “Ladies.”

“Travis.” Mackenzie smiled, and Sloan nodded politely.

Mackenzie and Travis started chattering as they went down the road, and Sloan tuned them out. She watched the clouds move freely in the sky, little signs of God’s love. Donna had told her that once. Watching the physical evidence of how much God cared, Sloan prayed for Darcy to leave her alone for one day. It would make her Monday go much more smoothly.

About a half a mile from Travis’s house, Sloan saw a dark blue Mustang pulling into the Hunters’ driveway. She watched Aaron lumber slowly out of the car. He had a shadow of a beard around his jawline, and his body slouched as he stood. His hair stuck out in different directions, and Sloan found herself wanting to run her fingers through it. Quickly, she shook the idea from her mind. It wasn’t right to think of him like that when she barely knew him. Under his coat, he had on a dark blue uniform like the men who worked at the aluminum plant in Harrisburg wore. Gauging by the time, she figured he’d just gotten off work.

Like the pulling of a magnet, she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. He looked up at her and did a double take. She could have sworn he looked glad to see her. As the car passed him, she waved. They were going too fast to see if he waved back.
Travis laid over the seat and plopped his head on his arms. “What’s up with you and Hunter? You act like you know him.”
“Nothing.”
“Hmmm…” He didn’t sound convinced. “Have ya’ll heard about the Hunters?” He sounded like a giddy old woman with a juicy little secret to share.
Mackenzie took the bait. “No, what?”

**
Can’t wait to read what happens next?


Buy the book from any of the links below:

AMAZON:        BARNES AND NOBLE:       SMASHWORDS:     

                ASTRAEAPRESS:                                   KOBO:  

Author bio:
~Kelly Martin is a best selling author of young adult fiction. She has two books: Grace Award nominee CROSSING THE DEEP and Amazon Best selling in Teen/Religion SAINT SLOAN. She has several short stories published and loves to write ‘twitter fiction’ when she’s bored. Kelly loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep.
You can find me at:-
Thank you so much for having me here today!
You're very welcome, Kelly.

Hump Day hook 27-03-13


HUMP DAY HOOK is a blog hop where each participating author posts ONE paragraph from a WIP (work in progress) or finished book each Wednesday. This gives readers an opportunity to sample different author's work and perhaps even find a new-to-you author.

For the last time I am carrying on where I left off
last week. Today you are getting a short snippet from 'her' point of view

She cursed when her opponent’s foil whipped past her face, and pushed her thoughts away.But along with the next clash of blades they came right back again...
Before she knew his intentions, the stranger had whipped the marriage certificate out of her hand and marched down chapel's the weather-smooth steps to the street.

To read more offering from the HDH group of authors please visit Hump Day Hook Blog.
 

26 March 2013

A helpful writing link?

I hope you are not too disappointed that there is no Tuesday's Tale today, Instead I decided to take the time to go through my over-long favourites list and see if I could do some spring cleaning. Well the weather may not be co-operating, but that's not excuse not to take advantage of the spirit of the season, is it? :-)

Anyway to get back to what I was blethering on about  disappointment, feelings, senses; I came across a posting in my favourites by Lucy Munro all about the impact of using the sense for writing and that it is now widely recognised there are far more than the basic five senses.

Rather than try to chose bits and pieces from it, here is the link to Lucy's post. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/10/26/author-lucy-monroe-more-than-five-senses-writing-for-visceral-impact/

I have just gone and ordered Marilyn Kelly's book, too.

24 March 2013

Snippet Sunday 24-03-13

Thank you to everyone who visited last week and to those who left comments. Your thoughts are always appreciated.
For today's Sunday Snippet I'm starting a little ways into the beginning of a new WIP (working title Horseshoe 1) 

Again I don't have names for my characters at this stage hence the 'he' and 'she.'


photo from BBC UK
“There’s bears and wolves in them there mountains,” the estate agent had prophesied with relish with so much relish when she paid her deposit, she’d wondered whether he was deliberately trying to scare her away.

Three years ago she’d lived another life. A life full of love and laughter, of friendships and happiness. It took her a while to find happiness here in her new home, but she’d found it. A quieter happiness, hopefully more enduring and one that would keep her grounded in reality. A happiness that never relied on others, and therefore could be snatched away from her.

That's it for this week, :-) Thanks for coming by and you'll find lots more free-read snippets at Snippet Sunday  

20 March 2013

Hump Day Hook 20-03-13

Welcome back to Hump Day Hook. I always enjoy your visits and your comments.



HUMP DAY HOOK is a blog hop where each participating author posts ONE paragraph from a WIP (work in progress) or finished book each Wednesday. This gives readers an opportunity to sample different author's work and perhaps even find a new-to-you author.

I am carrying on where I left off last time


With a twist of his body he pushed her foil clear and brought his own down on her leather-gloved hand.

Only her gasp broke the shocked silence before she leapt back and lunged again.

She had a point, he’d used a moved barred by almost all fencing clubs, but this, he reminded himself, wasn’t a fight of his choosing, nor was it being played within club rules.  The woman fought with a skill and intensity that moved this fight beyond personal to malicious. 

He wished he knew why.
 
To read more offering from the HDH group of authors please visit Hump Day Hook Blog.

19 March 2013

Tuesday's tales - 19-03-13 - Tight


Welcome back to another Tuesday's Tales This week is picture prompt week. And always includes the extra challenge for our 'tale' to remain within a 300 word limit.
I appreciate both your visit and your feedback.


This week's offering is a continuation from last week's picture prompt which is a continuation of January's picture prompt tale. I hope you enjoy it. :-)
(Please note, as I haven't found names for my characters yet, this 'tale' is full of 'he' and 'she'.)

Aladdin’s lamp?

Was she going crazy?  Immediately she focussed on her thumb still brushing the surface of the silver horseshoe in her hand, and swore. Don’t be so ridiculous, she instructed herself. This imperious stranger wasn’t some genie from a bottle, or even a lamp, and certainly not some kind of genie from a horseshoe.

She studied the tight line of his lips; the anger radiating from him and the— confusion? Was that really confusion she spotted?  If not the guy was a consummate actor. And perhaps, she studied the man’s garb again, perhaps he was an actor, but if so she couldn’t imagine the motives behind his sudden appearance.

“I don’t know who you are, or what you are doing here, but I don’t have any servants or dogs and certainly no horses, so I suggest you take yourself off and find someone else to annoy.”

She didn’t see him move, only knew his grip on her arm threatened to break her wrist if she tried to free herself.

“No horses?” he demanded. “Then what are you doing with that?”

The man tried to snatch the shoe from her, but this time instinct had her moving too fast for him, and holding it at arm’s length.

“I found it…”

Stiffening her spine she clamped her lips shut. Why the blazes should she explain herself to this arogant moron?

“Found it?” His gaze shifted from her face to the horseshoe now sparkling in the sunshine. Releasing her so suddenly she almost lost her balance, she watched the blood leech from his face. Fighting a losing battle against her rising concern she forced herself to remain still when he sought for support and dropped into the nearest chair. His throat bobbled, his mouth opened and closed, but no words came out. He drew the back of one hand over his eyes, leaned forward and balanced his elbows on his knees and brought his hands together.

Resting his head on his steepled fingers he looked up at her.

“Where did you find that—” he paused, swallowed again and continued in a voice filled with…what, she wondered? Bewilderment?

“Where did you find that, and why do you claim it is yours?”

Why did the sight of the horseshoe disturb him so? And what had happened to the burst of anger, now replaced by bafflement. And why, she wondered did she find herself anxious to explain?

“There are some old stables at the back of the house which I use for my jewellery business,” she began. “When I arrived they were falling down, so I repaired— ” more like rebuilt, she thought. “I repaired them,” she said again. “Then I set up shelves and workbenches, all of which I use constantly.”

The remembered bemusement of reaching up for her spool of silver wire only to wrap her fingers round the horseshoe shivered down her spine.

“Everything has its place and this—” Vehemence filled her voice now. “This should not have been where I found it.”

“You simply returned it to the wrong place” His cold, dismissive voice transformed her bemusement to anger.

“And how could I do that when I’d never seen it before?” She waved the offending shoe in his face then snatched it away before he could grab it. Spinning away she stared out of the window before facing him again.

A movement beyond the open door had her jaw dropping. Who, how and when had someone closed the wrought iron gates? And more to the point, how had the padlock managed to snap closed again?
 
Thank you for reading another snippet this week, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.
Notification
There will be NO Tuesday's Tales on the 26th March (next week).
I do hope you will rejoin us on April 2nd 

18 March 2013

Zanna MacKenzie interviews Lucy


Author bio
Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!
Zanna has written two novels, The Love Programme and How Do You Spell Love.
Find out more about Zanna at: www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk
www.zannamackenzie.co.uk

Book blurb
My novel, published by Astraea Press, is called The Love Programme, here’s more details:
Thanks to an embarrassing incident involving a wedding and her ex-boyfriend Marcus, Lucy has to leave her home town in a hurry and needs a place to escape to for a while.
Best friend Fiona is convinced now would be a good time for Lucy to get herself a new life with some potential for romance thrown in. Fate seems to agree when Lucy is given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a TV show and be a contestant on The Love Programme - two weeks of luxury living on a grand Highland estate coupled with, she hopes, fun and romance in wildest Scotland.
When Lucy meets Paul - the young, handsome owner of the Highland estate - she thinks she may have found the love of her life but who is the mysterious Hannah and what part does she play in his life? When she discovers that Marcus is planning to follow her to Scotland to win her back Lucy has some serious soul searching to do. Does she have a future with Paul, with Marcus or is she yet to find the man of her dreams?
·        So Lucy, The Love Programme is your story, tell us a bit about yourself…
“Well, I’m in my early twenties and work in a travel agency, my love life is a mess and I’m about to be chief bridesmaid for my best friend Fiona.”
·        Tell us why you think your love life is a mess…
For many years I’ve been in an on-again off-again relationship with Marcus, he lives in the same small town as me and we were childhood sweethearts. As we grew up I felt increasingly that we were growing apart but Marcus felt differently. Even when we were on a break he still rang me, came to see me at work and at home, he wouldn’t accept we were over. The Love Programme starts when I’m at his wedding to someone else after he has finally accepted we won’t be getting back together. Unfortunately he chickens out in the middle of the service, saying that it’s all my fault and that he still loves me! I’m mortified.
·        So what happened next?
Everyone in town hates me because they think I’ve been secretly seeing Marcus when he was planning to be married to someone else – which, of course, I wasn’t. I need to get away for a while and am offered the chance to go to Scotland to be part of a TV programme about the psychology of love.
·        What did you think of Scotland and the TV programme when you arrived for filming? I loved Scotland; the scenery was just jaw dropping, so gorgeous. The TV programme was being made on a grand country estate complete with a huge castle-type house and thousands of acres of forest. It was a spectacular setting. To be honest I was terrified about the filming side of things. When I first arrived there was a film crew waiting on the steps to the front entrance of the house and I just wanted to turn around and head back home.
·        Don’t country estates like that traditionally have Lairds, an important person in the locality, in charge of them? Yes, they do. Paul is the Laird on the Arknavie Estate. Before I left for Scotland my friend Fiona was having a bit of a daydream about the Laird turning out to be tall, dark and gorgeous but I said he’d probably turn out to be about eighty, bald and chubby!
·        And who was right? Fiona was! Paul is lovely, he’s a self-made businessman who purchased the estate to save it from bankruptcy. He wants to take the estate back to being run in traditional ways, using his own money to get it back on its feet so it can be a key part of the local economy again, employing local people.
·        So, you’re living on this country estate and filming the TV programme, what happens then? I get to chat with the programme psychologist about love and relationships and learn loads about myself and about men! Unfortunately, pretty soon, everything starts to get rather complicated and I find out that Marcus is coming to Arknavie to ‘take me home’  which of course is crazy, he has no right to do that, I’m a modern woman and we aren’t even together anymore.
·        So you’re in the middle of the Scottish Highlands with a gorgeous Laird, an ex-boyfriend stalking you and trying to film a TV programme? Yes, that’s right and I’m not saying any more about what happens … you’ll have to read the book to find out who the love of my life ends up being! Will Marcus win me round again? Will the Laird and his mysterious past be the key to my future? Or maybe it will be charming Isaac who is part of the Love Programme TV crew…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Here’s a sneak peak at chapter one…
 “I’m so glad he’s marrying someone else,” whispered Lucy, watching the groom shuffle nervously from one foot to the other at the top of the aisle.
“It could have been you up there,” replied Fiona. “How many times did Marcus ask you to marry him?”
“Three,” Lucy replied, shifting position for the fourth time in as many minutes. Why did church pews have to be so uncomfortable? “The first time when we were five, then again at twenty and finally,” she paused, reliving the moment in her head, “eight months ago.”
“Well,” Fiona said, as the organ struck up, filling the cold but pretty church with overly loud mu-sic, “it looks as though you’re safe from any more proposals, because I think the bride has just arrived.”
Amelie Marchant made her way slowly down the aisle, blonde hair in an elegant chignon, de-signer dress looking a million dollars. Beneath her thin veil it was clear she was smiling, no doubt savouring each precious second of being the focus of everyone’s attention, yet keeping her own attention firmly fixed on Marcus, who was awaiting her arrival at the altar.
Fiona nodded in approval. “She looks gorgeous. Her dress is exquisite.” She nudged Lucy. “Doesn’t the little bridesmaid look sweet in deep pink?”
“Yes, she’s Amelie’s niece apparently.” Lucy let a small sigh of contentment slip from her lips as Amelie reached the altar and stood close to Marcus. Finally she, Lucy Stokes, was going to be free of Marcus Brandon. He was marrying someone else, hallelujah! She would, at long last, be able to live her life exactly the way she wanted to. The whole reason she was here today was to witness the ceremony for herself. To know it was for real.
Okay, so she and Marcus had been childhood sweethearts. They’d played at the whole boy-friend-girlfriend thing on and off, sometimes quite successfully, for well over fifteen years. When she’d reached her twenties Lucy had sensed they didn’t have a future together, and she’d been trying to get Marcus to realise the fact ever since.
When she’d broken it off with him for the last time, to say he hadn’t taken kindly to the idea they were no longer an item was a major understatement. Over time she’d grown used to his persistent phone calls, the fact he often just popped round to see her and casually suggested, if they were both at a loose end, they might go for a drink or to the pictures.
Even when she’d plucked up the courage to attempt to date other people, it had been a complete disaster. Friadon was a small town and Marcus seemed to know every detail of where she went, when and with whom. On more than one occasion he’d tried to talk her out of going on a date, and she suspected, but couldn’t prove, he’d persuaded at least one of her dates to stay well away from her, causing her to be stood up, all alone in the heavy rain, outside the local cinema.
Six months after they’d split up, in a completely misguided attempt to woo her back, he’d gotten down on one knee and proposed to her for the third time at the travel agency where she worked. Armed with a huge bouquet of red roses and a bottle of champagne he’d asked her to marry him one last time. It had been in front of several customers too; Lucy had been pink with embarrass-ment. When, riddled with guilt, she’d gently declined his offer yet again, he’d gone off and met Amelie. Eight months later here the two of them were standing at the altar about to become man and wife.
Realising the ceremony was already well under way and she’d missed the first bit through not paying attention, Lucy tried to focus on what was being said, forcing the memories of Marcus from her mind. Yes, they’d enjoyed some fun times over the years, and she had to admit there had been occasions when they’d been completely great together, but it was all in the past now. His future lay with Amelie.
Clearing his throat the vicar glanced nervously towards the congregation and asked, “Does any-one here object to the marriage of Amelie Marchant and Marcus Brandon? If so, speak now or forever hold...”
“I object.” The words were barely audible but Lucy heard them and fear shivered up her spine.
The vicar, looking as though his worse fears were being realised, glanced around anxiously, un-sure what to do or say next.
“I object!”
This time the voice was louder. The vicar grew red-faced and flustered.
“I’m sorry, sir, did you say you object?”
The bridegroom nodded solemnly. “Yes, I’m afraid I did.”
Those in the first few rows of the church heard the faintest of whimpers escape from beneath the bride’s veil and her knees appeared to buckle just a little.
Fixing a stern gaze upon the unwilling groom the vicar muttered, “Why exactly do you object, Mr. Brandon?”
Marcus addressed the packed congregation, his eyes scanning the rows, seeming to search for someone. Then in a loud, clear voice he announced, “I object because I’m still in love with an-other woman!” Raising his right hand he pointed to an area, three pews back on the right, just in front of a stone pillar. “Lucy, my love, will you ever take me back?”
There was collective gasp from the congregation; the bride fainted on the spot, sinking to the floor to be quickly swallowed up in a cloud of ivory silk and lace. Lucy, covered in embarrass-ment from head to foot, used her generously proportioned purple feather hat to try to hide her face, clasped her matching purple purse to her chest and ran from the church as fast as her kitten heels would carry her.
****
“Poor woman. Imagine being left at the altar.” Fiona licked her lips and placed her fork back on the now empty plate, having demolished a generous portion of blueberry cheesecake. “It’s the kind of thing you never recover from, surely.”
“I know, I know, and I’m mortified everybody thinks I was in some way to blame.” Lucy sighed and searched in her handbag for a tissue. “I tried to call Amelie afterwards to explain there was nothing going on between me and Marcus, but her mum slammed the phone down on me. Eve-ryone hates me and I haven’t even done anything wrong.”
“So, where is Marcus now then?”
“He flew out to Portugal yesterday after the wedding to stay with his sister and her family. He rang me from the airport and asked if I’d fly out to join him, can you believe it?” Lucy shook her head in despair. “What do I have to do for him to get the message?”
“Well, he’s obviously still crazy about you.” Fiona sighed and then pinched the uneaten biscotti from the side of Lucy’s cup and saucer. “In some ways it’s rather romantic.”
“Fi! It’s not and you know it!  You’ve known me since school, and you know how he’s been driving me crazy for years! You, of all people, should understand!” Lucy replied, trying to re-trieve the stolen biscotti from Fiona. “I want some freedom from him. I want a life. I want to be able to try to find my Mr. Perfect.”
Fiona shook her head despairingly. “Not Mr. Perfect again. Don’t tell me — the man of your dreams needs to be,” she started to count on her fingers, “One, he needs to be fabulously wealthy. Two, he needs to be drop dead gorgeous. Three, kind and loving, attentive and thought-ful. Four, intelligent and successful. Five…”
Lucy held her hand up in protest. “Well, a girl needs to aim high.”
“I understand about you and Marcus. He’s not the man for you, but I’m afraid you’re not being realistic in the male wish list department. Firstly, you swap and change your mind about things all the while, and secondly, you know Mr. Perfect doesn’t even exist,” Fiona said, with a regretful smile. “I’m sure we all wish he did, but he doesn’t. Never has.”
Looking like a child who’d just been told Santa Claus wasn’t real, Lucy replied, “Okay for you to say. You’ve found your soulmate and are heading for the Friadon wedding of the year in a couple of weeks.”
“Yes, this is true.” Fiona nodded, a blissful smile appearing on her face. “But don’t forget I was realistic. I know Luke’s the one for me. I accept he’s not Mr. Perfect. He doesn’t shower me with roses or gifts, he goes down to the pub with his mates to watch the football far too often, and he’s not made of money. Oh, and he hates shopping!”
Lucy shook her head, pretending to disapprove. “And yet you still love him!”
“Yes, I do.” Fiona snapped the biscotti in half and handed one piece to Lucy. “Didn’t you ever love Marcus?”
“No. Well, maybe I thought I did when I was younger. We were great together for a while.” She sighed, stirring her coffee absentmindedly. “I suppose I’ve never had much chance to date other guys, to experience life. That’s part of the problem. Marcus always wanted us to go absolutely everywhere together when we were dating.”
“I don’t know how you’ve managed. To reach the ripe old age of twenty three, and you can probably count the number of boyfriends you’ve had on three fingers.”
Lucy buried her head in her hands, a curtain of straight blonde hair falling forward to hide her face. “I know. It’s crazy. And now I’m hated by pretty much every female within a ten mile ra-dius because they think I’m a trollop and I’ve been carrying on with Marcus whilst he’s been en-gaged. I’m completely innocent in all of this, yet I’m the one getting bad-mouthed.”
“They’ll get over it.” Pausing for dramatic effect, Fiona added, “It’ll just probably take a long while. In the meantime you’ll have to get used to being thought of as a wanton woman.” Patting her hand reassuringly, she said, “Anyway, I’m still your friend.”
“Great, thanks,” muttered Lucy, head still in her hands. “Sometimes I just feel this overwhelming desire to move away from here, to get myself a new life.”
“Well, do it then. For goodness sake you’ve been whinging on about it enough for the last few years.” Fiona popped the biscotti into her mouth. “Think about it. What’s stopping you from leaving Friadon anyway? Well, apart from my impending wedding of course.”
Warming to her topic she said, “It would do you good to get away from this small town mentali-ty. You should have done it years ago. Go off and explore, find out what you want from your life. You’ve never had a chance to date properly without Marcus peering over your shoulder. It must have been awkward.”
“It was.” Lucy shrugged, staring at a large crumb of biscotti on the table. As she had a good idea how infrequently the table tops were cleaned in this cafĂ©, she resisted the strong urge to scoop the crumb up and lick it from her finger. “Anyway, at my age, shouldn’t I have my life all mapped out by now? You know, what I want from men, work, the whole caboodle.”
Shaking her head Fiona reached for the last of her coffee. “Nah, it’s just a popular myth. Gener-ally things just happen, and they’re probably not what you were planning but they usually kind of work out for the best in the end.”
Looking at Lucy, she said, “Remember how you used to complain about how boring Marcus was? Saying how you’d never been in a relationship where you’d been totally swept off your feet, how you wanted to find a man you could be completely crazy about for the rest of your life? Always going on about how you wanted to find your Mr. Perfect, the love of your life?”
Lucy pushed a lock of hair behind her right ear, frowning. “And your point is?”
“Go find the man for you, have your adventure, enjoy yourself,” Fiona added encouragingly. “All of the hearts and roses stuff, the handsome looks and pots of money business we all, at some point, crave. Doesn’t matter. They’re not the real recipe for happiness in a relationship.” As Lucy’s face took on a not-this-lecture-again look, Fiona said, “You’ll see, I know you will. You just need to find the right man first.”
****
Business had been slower than usual at the Price Right Travel Agency where Lucy worked. “Isn’t it boring when nobody comes into the agency?” She sighed as she deftly slid a pair of scis-sors through some plastic wrapping on a pile of holiday brochures proclaiming Turkey to be ‘paradise in the sun’.
Her boss Melanie glanced up from her computer with an irritated expression on her pixie-like face. “I imagine we’re being boycotted thanks to your little shenanigans with Marcus.”
Trying to wedge some brochures with a picture of a gorgeous sun-drenched Turkish beach on the front onto the shelving, Lucy said, “For the tenth time, Mel, I didn’t do anything. What do I have to say for people to believe me?”
Mel shook her head. “I’m not here to judge your love life but when it starts to affect my busi-ness…” she paused, choosing her words carefully. “For starters Marcus was one of our best cus-tomers. He even booked his honeymoon here. Goodness knows what will happen there. Nobody has asked about the chance of a refund yet. What with Marcus paying for it and then jetting off to Portugal straight after the non-wedding, he hasn’t had a chance. I expect he’ll be in to try to sort it all out when he gets back.”
“He’ll lose his money. I’m pretty sure walking out on your wedding isn’t covered under his in-surance,” said Lucy with a grimace, feeling guilty about how Marcus and Amelie wouldn’t get to enjoy the five star hotel he’d chosen on a gorgeous stretch of beach on Cyprus. If she remem-bered rightly the place had three restaurants, five swimming pools, a spa and a gym. Everything you could wish for. She’d helped him to choose the place. Now she was the reason he wouldn’t be going there.
“Perhaps it would be best if you took a bit of a sabbatical. Have you thought about it at all?” Mel asked with more than a hint of encouragement in her voice.
“Sabbatical?” Lucy queried, the brochures in her hand slipping to the floor. “Not a polite way of saying I’m fired is it?”
“Of course not. I’ll hold your job open for you. Just consider it an opportunity to take a few weeks off to go and have yourself a bit of fun. Hopefully by the time you return, all the gossips will have moved on to someone else and the next Friadon scandal.”
“You’re serious aren’t you?” Lucy asked, sitting down on several bundles of as-yet unopened brochures.
“Definitely. I have this friend who works for a small TV production company. They’re doing some sort of programme about love and one of the girls has had to pull out at the last moment for family reasons. They need a replacement right away and the filming is supposed to start in two days. Craig, my friend, doesn’t want to have to go through all the audition info again to choose someone else. I bet you’d be ideal.”
Sceptically Lucy asked, “What sort of love programme? It’s not something tacky is it?”
“No, no,” Mel answered, tapping away at her computer keyboard. “I think the idea is for three girls and one boy to spend two weeks together at some glam location. It’s properly organised and supervised. Each of you would get to go on your dream type of dates. It’s all about the psycholo-gy of finding the love of your life.”
Lucy got to her feet, then swayed unsteadily as her sandals slipped across several of the glossy holiday brochures scattered about the floor where she’d dropped them minutes earlier. Stooping to gather up the brochures before a customer (should one of them ever appear) broke their ankle on them and sued the agency, Lucy contemplated Mel’s suggestion. “So it would all be quite tasteful then?”
“I should imagine so. I think they’ll be having a psychologist on hand too, so after each date you can talk about how you think things went. There’s a complete relationship analysis service avail-able so you can learn about yourself, men, and your attitude towards dating. Sounds ideal for you.”
Realising she’d been holding her breath for a few seconds, Lucy let it out in a long sigh. “Okay, I might be interested. Shall I call this Craig or will you?”
 

17 March 2013

Snippet Sunday 17-03-13

Thank you to everyone who visited last week and to those who left comments. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

For today's Sunday Snippet I'm continuing a little bit further on from where I left off last week.


A medic came up and wrapped a blanket round his shoulders. Automatically he drew it round himself. The slight warmth it offered highlighted the cold that had seeped right into his bones.  One part of his brain acknowledged it was reaction; shock. The other accepted a greater part of it was due to the rage still coursing through him and the need to remain and sound rational while in the company of the people here to help those involved.

He dug his free hand into his pocket and touched the small square box there.

So many dreams encompassed there, but never had he anticipated they would include shattered dreams. 

 “Are you hurt?” The voice came from somewhere far away, and Jim struggled to focus on the source.
 
“Not physically,” he uttered in a voice devoid of emotion. 
****
That's it for this week, :-) Thanks for coming by and you'll find lots more free-read snippets at Snippet Sunday  

Happy St. Patrick's Day



16 March 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample 16-03-13

Time for Sweet Saturday Sample again, and this week I'm continuing from where I left off last week one of my Gasquet Princes WsIP, its working title - Sacha's Story.

Sacha is the third (being the younger twin) Gasquet brother, and this clip comes from may be the opening scene in his story.

 
He swung round with the intention of heading for the hall to watch the man pretending to be his twin, enter the house, but found his path blocked.

“They why is not obvious to me, so before we greet this imposter, if imposter he is, you better share your conclusions,” Liam demanded.

His head snapped up, his attention on the closed sitting room door. “Whoever is behind this subterfuge is counting on their man getting past us.  After all, if he can fool his brothers, then whoever has organised this exchange can be more confident their man will fool the public.  
“And there’s his first error.” Sacha breathed in a sigh of relief when the doorbell peeled. 

You'll find more free reads at Sweet Saturday Sample