A chick, in my book, is a baby chicken covered in downy, yellow feathers up until the age of 6-weeks. I’ve always bristled when the term is applied to young women, and I have always subconsciously disassociated myself from Chick lit, believing the genre to be driven by scantily clad, sex-driven female main characters. I couldn’t have been more wrong and, although I’m not a fan of categories, it’s time to reassess the genre I think I’ve been writing in.
Jack is the love of my protagonist, Lisa Grant’s, life. He always has been, but they split up when Lisa was twenty-two after Jack proposed. Lisa had panicked, turning him down for a multitude of reasons. Too young, fear of commitment, terrified of going through the ‘monopause’ and turning in to her mother. Instead of talking it through with Lisa, Jack walked away, leaving her alone at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Eighteen years later, and in the throws of getting back together, Jack has another hissy fit after misinterpreting an intimate moment between Lisa her ex, Rory, and flounces off back home to New York.
I would like to introduce you to the gin-swilling Miss Laverty, one of the characters from my first novel, Just Say It. The year is 1963, and my main protagonist, Lisa Grant, is four-years-old. Her mother, the self-centred Elizabeth, has hatched a plan with two families living down the road to employ a governess to teach Lisa and the neighbours’ young daughters.
He stopped his tirade and got up to pour himself a stiff whiskey and, realising he was trembling, knocked it back in one.
‘Damn you, Will! If we are going to make our marriage work, the least you can do is be civil to me. You’re widely regarded as being exceedingly bright. So, you should be able to work it out.’
‘Work out what?’ He turned to glower at her, and hissed ‘insufferable as well as insane,’ before slamming his glass down on to the drinks tray and poured himself another one.
‘The dates, Will, they don’t add up. Not with Jeremy anyway, and Grandbo only wants to walk a virgin up the aisle. He told me to get out when he found out I wasn’t.’ Elizabeth started to sob. ‘He was about to put his grandmother’s engagement ring on my finger. It’s a sapphire… the size of a quail’s egg. Oh, Will, I really thought he was going to be the one. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in marrying a woman with a desecrated hymen, let alone one carrying a developing foetus. My life is ruined, and I never wanted children, and it’s all your fault!’
The Secret Lives of The Doyenne of Didsbrook is a murder mystery spoof. The sleepy market town of Didsbrook is thrown into turmoil after the town’s most flamboyant resident, the much-loved actress turned best-selling novelist, Jocelyn Robertshaw, is found dead.
This is the bittersweet story of the first four decades of Lisa Grant’s life. Growing up with her narcissist mother, Elizabeth, has a knock-on effect in her adult life. When she finds out the truth about her mother’s early life, can she find it in her heart to forgive Elizabeth for her appalling behaviour over the last forty years?
The first time they set foot on the parched earth of their new home and future source of income, it came as a shock. Dropped by taxi during the late afternoon, they stood like a pair of refugees, surrounded by their modest collection of baggage. They were both still under thirty, blond and, outrageously good looking. Two young men that you would expect to find on the front cover of Vogue magazine and not embarking on a seriously get-your-hands-dirty project.
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 leads up to the agonising moment Jack realises he has got things horribly wrong. FEBRUARY 2000 Jack was holding the neck of an empty miniatureContinue reading “Going the Wrong Way”
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.
There was always a distinct chill inside the cottage, which was responsible for the black clusters of mould marching across its walls like aggressive armies of Unsullied. It was impossible to heat. She ran the tips of her fingers across the top of the old storage heater in the kitchen. It had only just come on so she would keep her coat on a little longer and there was no point in lighting the fire in the living room as she was going out later. No significant other, so no candlelight dinner, but a night out with the girls, which would inevitably end up being pretty wild.
It’s just dawned on me that cows feature in both Just Say It and The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook. I grew up on a dairy farm, so maybe that’s the reason? My main character in Just Say It grows up on a farm with a herd of Dairy Shorthorn cattle, as I did.Continue reading “COW GIRL AT HEART – My Love for Bovine Beauties”
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, Will, 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, Elizabeth and her lover, Jeremy.Continue reading “Fisticuffs at Fanny’s”
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.