It’s just dawned on me that cows feature in both Just Say It and An Honest Review. I was brought up on a dairy farm, so maybe that’s the reason? Coincidently, my main character in Just Say It grows up on a dairy farm with a herd of Dairy Shorthorn cattle, Continue Reading
As 2019 draws to a close, is been a year rejections for Just Say It, my pantser-style first attempt at a novel. But I am, older, tougher and wiser now; I can take criticism on the chin (crying emoji!). So, I will say goodbye to 2019 feeding off the constructive criticism and positive feedback I’ve received during the year.
Just Say It is my first novel, which I ‘finished’ in June 2019 and, I’ve been editing it ever since! It is the first and last time I write a novel pantser-style; I will never throw myself into writing a book again without much-advanced planning.
I still have faith in Lisa Grant and her dysfunctional family, and in 2020 I hope to convince an agent that her story is a viable one. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with few members of the cast.
8th October 1959 The day a young Margaret Thatcher first became an MP for Finchley, Elizabeth’s waters finally broke in front of the Aga in the kitchen. She was way over her due date, and Anna had rung a few times during the proceeding weeks, asking if she was okay Continue Reading
After seventeen years apart, Lisa realises she is still in love with Jack, but after he misinterprets a fond farewell between Lisa and Rory, he flounces off home to NYC. This extract is the lead up to the agonising moment Jack realises he has got things horribly wrong. When you realise what Continue Reading
The reading of Arthur’s Will was expected to be straightforward and that he would dutifully leave his fortune to his grieving widow. A few minutes before her outburst, Lisa had been fighting to control her anger and Elizabeth, as usual, was the focus of her irritation. She’d arrived late, dressed like the Queen about to meet a head of state but, thankfully, not wearing a hat. She waited for the solicitor to pull up a chair for her and sat in wide-eyed anticipation waiting for the reading to start, whilst stifling the odd theatrical tear.
It is the 8th of October 1980, and it’s Lisa Grant’s twenty-first birthday. She has recently been reunited with her father, Fergus, who lays on a party for her at her favourite restaurant in Soho, Fanny’s Bistro. The tables are hastily rearranged to accommodate two uninvited guests, Lisa’s mother, Continue Reading
The first time he invited her back to his flat for a drink after a cocktail party to celebrate the New Year, she took advantage of his inebriated state. He flopped on to the sofa next to her, and she turned toward him, straddling his lap and pinning him down. Covering his mouth with hers, he felt he couldn’t breathe. Although way out of his comfort zone, being pounced on by an eighteen-year-old siren with the sexual appetite of a tigress, resistance was futile. If he had any doubts about the morality of his seduction, Elizabeth had no intention of giving him any time to think about it.
In the foggy waking moments of his hangover the following day, he dismissed what had happened between them for what it was, drunk sex. It would never happen again. He only had a few weeks left in London, and he would make sure he kept a low profile.
The day I returned home is one I will never forget. The images appear inside my head when I least expect them to. On the train, going to work, or sitting at my desk, they take me by surprise, clear, concise, bold flashbacks. They also haunt my dreams. It is Continue Reading
Lisa Grant is leaving the UK for good to live in The Algarve to work at father’s vineyard. Her car breaks down at Portsmouth where she bumps into old flame Rory who, fortunately for Lisa, is also headed for Portugal. Rory gallantly offers to drive Lisa there and they decide to take their time travelling through Spain and Portugal to do a bit of sightseeing.
We are like family now. Bound together by an invisible thread, our stories intricately woven together, ad infinitum. I know everything about each and every one of them. I uncovered secrets from their past that I know they would have wanted to let lie. It doesn’t make them bad people. The sins of their past only make them human, fragile, vulnerable. We all make mistakes and, I believe, the truth has set them free.
I was born on 11th July 1998, which coincidentally, is World Population Day. My mother, Joan, had been marvelling at the content of the Fresh Produce section of Didsbrook’s brand new Coop when her waters broke. Legend has it, my father, George, with the help of the store manager, bundled her into a trolley and wheeled her across the cobbled market place to the Didsbrook Cottage Hospital. Shortly after they wheeled her in, I popped out and the World Population counter flipped over to add one more.