Sunday, 31 March 2013

Two versions of the same song, Excerpt #2


I’m going to the theatre and I’m running late, thanks to my mother. I was ready and about to leave when she said, “Where are you going dressed like that?”
“I told you, I’m going to the theatre.”
“Dressed like that?”
“Yes” I said, defensively. I’m wearing a new T-shirt under my brown leather jacket, my best Diesel jeans and brand new suede Converse trainers. “This is my smart casual look” I informed her.
“Paul, what you’re wearing is not appropriate.”
“It’s fine. No one dresses up for the theatre these days” I said, as if I knew what I was talking about.
“Can’t you wear a proper shirt?”
I shook my head defiantly. It’s not enough that I agreed to get my hair cut at her salon on her recommendation and now have a James Dean-type quiff that I’m still unsure about.
“At least change into your brown leather shoes.”
I headed back to my room. It was less time-consuming to comply than to argue, and I was willing to compromise and wear the shoes if it meant getting past the fashion police.

Going to the theatre to watch modern dance is not exactly my idea of a fun night out, so I was reluctant to go when Kai phoned to invite me, but I’d agreed to go for one reason and one reason only - a girl.
 “Come on. It’ll be a good night out. You’ll enjoy it.”
“It’s not really my thing.”
“It’s not exactly mine either, but it’s for Kris’ 18th. Tasha’s coming.”
“Great - all the more reason for me to tag along.” It’s not that I dislike Tasha - she’s nice enough - if a little moody and self-absorbed.
“Will’s coming too.”
“You’re still not selling it.”
“... and Serena” he said.
“Really?” I asked, feigning mild curiosity.
“Yeah, we all have dates apart from her so if you come, it would even up the numbers.” I noticed he was careful not to suggest I be her date - which suggested she didn’t know about it.
“She probably wouldn’t want that” I said, fishing for clues.
“Sure she would.”
“Does she even know I’m invited?”
“No - better keep it that way for now.”
“I haven’t said yes yet.”
“Great. See you later” he said and then hung up. I realised the ‘yet’ was probably an indication that I’d already made up my mind. He knew exactly what carrot to dangle - and it had worked.

I grab my car keys and hurry out of my room for the second time, now wearing my brown leather shoes. My plan is to hurry before she catches me again, but it doesn’t work. She is hovering by the front door, blocking my exit, determined to scrutinise me one last time before she lets me leave. She gives me the once-over and, while brushing non-existent dust off the shoulders of my jacket says, “That’s much better.” I know she hates the T-shirt and the jeans - she doesn’t get the distressed look - but she is trying to meet me half way.
“Have a wonderful time” she says, kissing me on the cheek - lately, she has become increasingly emotionally demonstrative - then, finally, stepping aside, she lets me pass.
“Thanks, see you later” I say, feeling embarrassed by her display of affection, and leave.
I get into my car and head west to Ealing.
I turn off the main road at my destination. The large double iron gates slow me down as I enter the code to open them. I look at the clock on the dial as they slowly open. I’m 15 minutes late.

An excerpt  from Two versions of the same song, Tales from Aintree Court, Book 2

Want to read more?  Look inside at

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Two versions of the same song, Excerpt #1


“Serena, let’s go!” my brother Will calls out to me from downstairs. I am in my room, taking a final glance at myself in the mirror.
We are going to the theatre with friends to celebrate Kris and Tasha’s birthdays. They both turned 18 last month. Kristina Hansen is Will’s girlfriend. She and her brother Kai were still in Australia visiting their mom, Monica, on her birthday.
A year ago, Monica was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was worried that telling them would jeopardise Kris’ and Kai’s studies, so she kept it from them for almost a year. They had flown out to Sydney to be with her in July, after they had been told. It was obviously a tough time for them. By then Monica had already had surgery, had completed her chemo and was at the early stages of recovery. She was now in remission.
Daniel, Kai and Kris’ dad, arranged this theatre trip for Kris and her friends. He is taking his new girlfriend. We know this trip has also been orchestrated so she can meet Kai and Kris.
I was reluctant to accept when they invited me, knowing once again that I would be the one who made the party an odd number - the one without a date.
 I decided to go for the smart-casual look. I am wearing black skinny jeans and a black satin camisole. Over it I am wearing a charcoal grey transparent chiffon blouse my mom made for me.
I stand in front of the mirror and examine myself in my outfit. I glance at my flat chest and scrutinise my lack of height; I am just five feet one. I focus on the positives. I have often been told I am pretty, and the number of guys I’ve caught checking me out hasn’t gone unnoticed, but looking at myself I don’t see it. I see neither beauty nor ugliness; I just see me. I have a small waist, well-proportioned hips and my legs are okay.
Then I chide myself for my vanity. I know it shouldn’t matter. It is the beauty within that matters; this is what I keep telling myself. But it has been like that recently, a constant seeking of reassurance that I look okay and that there is nothing wrong with me.
I slip into black high stiletto suede ankle boots and pull on a grey long-sleeved shrug over my blouse. It contains mohair, so it feels warm and I decide I will not need a jacket. I grab my purse.
Will calls out to me again.
“Come on Serena, let’s go!”
“Okay! I’m coming” I say, switching off the light and hurrying out of my room.

Excerpt #1 from Two versions of the same song, Tales from Aintree Court, Book 2

Want to read more?  Look inside the eBook version at

Friday, 8 March 2013


This giveaway has now ended.

Hi there,

Spring is approaching and with it a chance to have a break and hopefully some YOU-time.  How about relaxing with your feet up and a free book?

I am pleased to offer 5 eBook copies of my second novel Two Versions of the Same Song. Although this is the second Aintree Tale it is a stand alone story. 
For a chance to win one of the copies please follow the instructions below. Please note: You must follow the instructions in order to qualify.

(1) Send an email to with the subject title: Spring 13 TVoSS Giveaway

(2) Include your name, email address and your preferred ebook format (ePub, mobi for Kindle or PDF)

Only entries received from Friday 8th to Saturday 30th March 2013 will be eligible.

Five winners will be picked at random and contacted by email on Sunday 31st March with her/his copy included.

This is an international competition.

Good Luck : )

[Parental guidance: Please note that the F-word appears several times in this novel, as does the topic of teenage sex.]