Social Icons

Icon Icon Icon Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Light and Shadow by @PattiLarsen (HCN#11)

 Come the Brotherhood. 

You must be careful. I turn toward the voice, see a shape floating next to me in the dark, glowing softly iridescent, all the colors of the rainbow and others for which I have no names.

Of what?

The sound and feel of the shape is feminine. She lifts her arm and points. I see them then, below and before me, two vast armies stretching out over an empty gray plane, facing each other. But they've not yet begun to fight. I recognize witches and vampires, Sidhe and demons, other creatures I've never laid eyes on, crowding one side. On the other side are humans, feeling empty and cold, though their power crackles around them like electric fire.

You must be ready. My companion's voice is very sad, makes tears rise in my eyes. The war is coming and you only have a little time left to prepare.

When Syd dreams of a terrible battle between sorcerers and all other magical races, she is tasked by a mysterious maji with protecting the Light and the Shadow, a pair of teenagers she rescues from the veil. Forced to track down the Chosen of the Light for assistance against this new threat, Syd teams with an unlikely foe turned ally in a stand against the rise of the sorcerer’s Brotherhood. 

Light and Shadow Review

Once again I'm lost to Wilding Springs until the small hours of the morning and left bereft when I'm finished. What am I supposed to do until the next installment? Syd and her family are so familiar now that it's like catching up with an old friend. :-)

Although, I do not have any friends with a life as quite as exciting as part sidhe, part demon, part vampire, and all over super witch Sydlynn Hayle. She's already been through the typical coming to age teenage angst stuff. She's pushed everyone away and rejected the world around her. But this time the fate of the all magical planes rest on her helping someone else through theirs. A brother and sister whose destinies are greater than Syd's. One to save the world from destruction. The other to destroy it. Did you just get chills?

Once again were treated to Syd against the rest of the world with her usual tenacity and style. But she's also realizing the limitations of those around her, like her mom, her dad, the lack of willingness to act in matters which do not affect them, and she's seeking ways of protecting the coven rather than her reckless old ways.

It was nice to see her outgrow her predetermined destiny with Quaid, let him go and be happy. And I have to admit I'm definitely on board with vampire clan Sebastian as a love interest. If this is where the developments within Light and Shadow are going. What with Meira's Kidnapping and Syd's retrieval of the vampire essence she now carries inside to save him from it in past Hayle Coven Novels, they've had a long dramatic history and unlike Quaid, yummy Sebastian isn't bored with the action in Syd's life.

Love Syd! LOVE The Hayle Coven Novels. Excited about the pending release of the Queen of Darkness. :-)


Posts You May Have Missed

Thursday, 13 December 2012

First Plane - by Patti Larsen - Hayle Coven Novels #10




Stop everything you are doing right now


I know I only posted on book 9 of the HCN series, Divided Heart, last week but I was holding out until I'd finished my uni work and eventually caved in to read it. And even though I didn't love it, it was still an excellent read.

And after reading First Plane I've a million more questions and speculations about what is to come but this time I'm not sharing. I don't want to spoil First Plane for you.

We left a broken hearted Syd at the beginning of her first semester at college, with best friend Liam pinning for her to feel for him the way he feels for her. She has the vampire essence playing nice and the rest of the witch community running scared because she defeated a blood magic user. But she's got a new gang of witch friends and alls going good in her life. Even the relationship with her crazy busy high council leader mom is settling down.

Princess of the second plane?

Its Christmas and Syd has returned to Wilding Springs when her Dad crosses over from the demon plane and tells Syd and Meems he wants them to cross to the demon plane they have a whole family they dont know anything about, including their Grandmother who is the ruler of Demonicon and she would like to meet them.

Upon arriving in Demonicon Syd and Meems are assigned their ranks within the demonic world. They are now at risk of attack from other demons wanting their status and power. If they are to survive this world they most learn the ways of their demonic heritage and fast. 

Syd and Meems tag teaming and kicking demon ass is a book not to be missed! 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Excerpt - Life's A Ball?

I began writing Life's A Ball? way back in 2007. Finished the first draft in 2009 and Thought I was finally finished with it in 2011. But I'm not a 100% happy with it. I've not posted for a while I've been busy with my uni work and I'm currently writing the 2nd in the Valentina Secrets Series, Behind Closed Doors, but I thought I'd thought I'd introduce you to Elle and Adam.

Life's A Ball

There were some days when, with very little effort, her smaller than average figure, usually untameable blonde curls and soap and water maintained complexion surprised Elle.
   There were times when being in front of the floor length mirror in her walk in closet was like standing behind the iron railings at a blockbuster movie premiere in Leicester Square. Watching the hottest movie starlets strut their stuff on the red carpet. Unfortunately, today was not one of those days.
   Elle had done everything she possibly could in the last two hours. Yet, the hateful glass still reflected the monstrosity of a bruised plum rather than a stunning Hollywood starlet swathed in Byzantium satin. The gown had promised her lies as it hung ever-so elegantly on the hanger only moments ago.
   The hidden foam cups holding up her generous female assets felt too small. The gorgeous silver embellishment decorating underneath her bosom felt too loose. The panel it was hiding, like a Grecian crown, was strangling her rib cage. Hollywood royalty could wear silken second skins without reprisal. But, for Elle, the delicate material clung too close to every telltale sign that she was not someone who was on first name terms with the body builders in the gym.
   She felt like she was about to audition for a satellite infomercial to advertise the latest US exercise equipment. One with the tag line ‘You can go from this embarrassingly-exaggerated-before picture to this potentially-same-head-on-a-different-body image in just twenty eight days.’ Except, her audition picture would not be selected for the cleaned up after shot.
   What had she done to deserve this humiliation?
   On cue, Adam Lacey’s agitated voice bellowed from the foot of the stairwell “Elle, will you get your arse down here already!”

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Divided Heart by Patti Larsen (HCN #9)

Oh my! We left Syd in Wilding Springs as the new co-coven leader of the Hayle Coven and about to embark on college. With no first chapter I had no idea what to expect from Divided Heart. 

So ... Here comes Harvard. Syd is looking forward to a life where being a witch is normal. People won't reject her and trouble won't follow her. But hey, c'mon this is our Sydlynn, perpetual trouble magnet wearing sore thumb. Almost immediately Alison's echo is stirring up trouble trying to get the Vampire virus that feeds her life force. Then a series of teacher lead embarrassments, a jealous stand off, arguments, witchy slap downs, the Dumonts twins, Vampire nests, jerky boyfriends, pouring out true feelings from best friends and Syd is having a really tough couple of days.

Syd's old school friends are here too. Maths genius simon and Mia's ex-Blood but they soon get involved with witches and Syd is concerned. And rightly so, they're normals. But this time no one has her back. Her mom is doing everything by the book. Quaid is being a jerk about everything and the only people Syd can rely on is Sass the Cat, Grams' advice and Liam. And then Syd is attacked by vampires also after the vampire essence. It breaks free of its prison and settles in Syd. Cool new power or poisonous virus?

Poor Syd is learning just how tough being an adult and a coven leader really is. 

I really love this series

Friday, 26 October 2012

Tainted Love Release Day!

Oh My God! I'm so excited to bring Tainted Love to you.

Faith's story is one of love, and courage, and strength. She is a woman with a desire to protect her family and her journey is one that spans across her entire marriage and watches her children grow, watches Faith grow.

Tainted Love is just the beginning. The Valentina Secrets series follows the McKenzie family as the truth casts ripples across the rest of their lives.

For anyone in a relationship, the words 'we need to talk' can only mean one thing. In the last twenty-two years, the McKenzies have been through it, survived it, learned by it, and grown stronger from it, because life didn't stop for breath when they needed it. Amongst the tears and the tragedies, the hopes and happiness, they've built something amazing: a happy family, a luxury lifestyle and a booming empire. Don't they deserve to have it all?

But for the perfect wife, those four sinister words mean something entirely different. They're a summons into a private world where what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.

Faith has no doubt in Calvin's undying love for her. It's what kept her sane in the darkest hours. If only she could figure out what it is she does wrong... because it’s rapidly becoming apparent their tainted love is running out of time.

Tainted Love: The Faith McKenzie Story 

is available for Kindle at and 
(free kindle apps are available for mobile phones, pc, tablets)

And for all other e-Reading devices Tainted Love is available at 


Posts You May Have Missed 

Sneak Peak - Tainted Love - Chapter 1 

 It's Time to End the Silence

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tainted Love - Cover Reveal

Today I bring you the beautiful designed cover of Tainted Love by Stephanie Mooney at

Tainted Love will be available on Amazon shortly


Sneak Peek - Tainted Love - Chapter 1

Novel Excerpt - Tainted Love (unedited) 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

It's Time to End the Silence

I want to introduce you to Darryl. He’s 28 years old, a trainee psychiatrist living in New York City. He grew up in The Hamptons and had all the trappings of a privileged lifestyle. He received all the emotional and physical nurturing a child could ever need. After the loss of their parents Darryl’s much older sister gave him the same loving, rewarding, disciplining, and supporting care as her own children and Darryl grew up with his eldest niece and nephew but they were more like a brother and sister to him. Faith ensured Darryl never missed out on anything but she respected their bond as siblings, she never tried to replace their parents and she never let the little 6 year old orphan inside forget his mom and dad.

Darryl hasn’t seen Faith in 7 years. They argued over the secrets she kept and the lies she told and they haven’t spoken since. But he loves his sister, her grace, her strength and her wisdom beyond her years. She’s the most amazing person he knows. She’s magic. She can walk into chaos, snap her fingers and create order. She makes the world a better place just by being Faith. She gave up her dreams to take care of him and who knows where he may have ended up if she hadn’t? So, to this day, he doesn’t understand her betrayal. They never kept secrets from each other.

8 weeks ago the police knocked on his door looking for Faith. His sister and the two youngest children left for a shopping trip. They never arrived at the mall and they never returned home either. Her husband and older children are very worried. But today, Darryl has received a letter from Faith. There are no more secrets, no more lies, only the truth. He knows EVERYTHING. Why didn’t he see what was happening? Didn’t he live with them? Why didn’t he know? Maybe he could have protected her...

Recently in the UK, couple were convicted of murdering their daughter. Their motive were claimed to be because her western lifestyle brought shame on their religion and therefore it is branded an ‘Honour Killing’. Personally, I agree with detective in charge of the case. Murder is murder pure and simple. Don’t glorify it! In this particular insistence, the girl endured years of abuse by her family for her life choices.

Domestic violence: We all know this world exists. We all hear of the horrific tragedies that hit the media. But it’s a world we don’t talk about. A world with the terms: Don’t ask, Daren’t tell.

In the US, women are attacked about six times more often by someone they've had an intimate relationship with than male violent victims, and 30% of all female homicides in the US were known to be killed by their husbands, former husbands or boyfriends. And in the UK 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their life time and over two are killed each week by their current or ex partner. With similar reports across the commonwealth it’s likely YOU KNOW SOMEONE AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

I know I do.

I thought I only knew one person with an abusive past. I didn’t realise how many people I knew until I wrote the words ‘The End’ in a manuscript that had completely sidetracked me from my current work in progress. My character, bless her, she whispered to me for a couple of weeks and I resisted. Her world was somewhere I didn’t want to go... you know it was one of those ‘Don’t ask, Daren’t tell’ kind of stories. One I didn’t want to face, or even talk about. But she fights for even the smallest of victories and one night she won. She said something and I had no choice but to pay attention. Two weeks later I was sending out the completed manuscript. The response was phenomenal.

But what is more overwhelming is the number of people who have opened their healed past to share their stories with me. And I'm not just talking readers. When I explain Faith's story to anyone, the number of people who have told me they were once in my characters shoes is... well, for the number of people I've come into contact with in my day-to-day life it]s far too many. There are many more people affected by domestic violence than you realise.

Faith is Darryl’s sister. He grew up believing in the American dream, loving families and happily ever after with no idea of the true depth of his sister’s marriage because that was what Faith wanted him to have. It’s what she wants all her children to have (although she tries harder to achieve this goal more than anything else she isn’t successful). Like many women in her situation Faith suffers alone, and in silence. She hides from the truth. She covers it up. She lies. She denies it, even to herself. For this man loves her, he will change for her.

“Faith” is also your boss’s wife. “She’s” your next door neighbour. “She’s” the goddaughter of an acquaintance you may see frequently. “She’s” the Mum of a kid who plays on the same football team as your kid. “She” plays tennis with you at the local club. “She” could be your colleague, your aunt, your cousin, your sister, your niece, your grandmother, your mom, or even your friend and she’ll never say a word.

Do Ask, let’s build the courage together ... It’s time to end the silence.

Coming October 2012 - Tainted Love: The Faith McKenzie Story


Posts You May Have Missed 

Sneak Peek - Tainted Love - Chapter 1 

A Star in Heaven   Poem by Erin Cawood

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sneak Peek! - Tainted Love - Chapter 1

I'm so excited! Release day is getting closer and closer, but there's still so much to do. You've all patiently listened to me rattle on about Tainted Love, Faith and her family for so long now that, today, I thought I'd give to a sneak peek inside...

Chapter One

7th October 1999

Dear Little Brother,

You have to promise me something...
Promise me you won't tell a soul what you are about to read? Unless something happens to me, no one needs to know.
My babies, Georgia and Caleb, only need to know what I have told them. I am unhappy. I have been unhappy for a long time. And therefore, I have gone away to heal my heart, my mind, and my spirit. They'll understand, for me their younger sisters are part of the healing process, and this is why I have taken the girls with me. I have promised to return, and I will. Somehow I'll find another way into Georgia and Caleb’s lives. But... I'll never go back.
I tell myself every day I should be thankful for what I have. Despite my sad situation I have you, my amazing younger brother. You’ve flourished into an all-state star quarterback and earned a scholarship to one of the best medical schools in the country. I have three wonderful daughters who still see fairy tales and dreams, and know how to reach for the sky. The eldest has high grades and a warm heart for children in need. She's taken herself down the path to follow Daddy into the family profession. The younger ones are a delight. Barely walking, already they have flair for drama, song, and dance. I see stars in their eyes and fame on their horizons.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For me, the October spotlight has always be pink. I've always done my little bit to support the amazing work done for cancer research. And I will continue to do so. But, in the US, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

As you know, over the past ten months my romantic rose tinted world has led me into darker territories. Places where riding off into the sunset doesn't take the heroine to the promised happy ever after. A place where the knight in shining armor becomes the ogre in the princess's fairytale and I'm not talking of the Shrek kind either!

At first, it wasn't too difficult to tread through this world. To read stories about domestic abuse form character profiles. As cold and as detached as that sounds, it was research and I was exploring a world I've never been so I was being ... naive. Looking upon this as any other research project. Well, you're not supposed to let every dark shadow in fiction make you jump, aren't you?

Then a character tried talking to me. Her name is Faith. I've known what was happening to Faith for a long time, she's been a secondary character and her story has weaved through the back story in two of my novels. Put simply, when it came to Faith I couldn't put her life and marriage into words. I couldn't put myself in Faith's shoes. And as an author that's exactly what you do. You put yourself in your character's place to feel, and smell, and taste, and breathe as they do. I didn't think I could do it, nor did I think I could face the reality of her world. 

So for weeks I told myself Faith didn't have a story to tell. But I guess that was just me. Seeing only what I wanted to see. Telling myself only what I wanted to hear. Avoiding the subject of domestic abuse because its unpleasant and it doesn't fit with 'they all lived happily ever after' because there is a story. A story Faith forced me to share with you. (Seriously, She hijacked her brother's story and forced me to listen to her voice through something he remembered!) Tainted Love: The Faith McKenzie Story will be released soon.

During the first seven months I never noticed once how the survivor stories were affecting me. And then, one by one, the more stories I read and the more people I spoke with, the more real domestic abuse became. It seemed to take over my subconscious mind. I began having awfully dark dreams and nightmares. By the end of August I felt like I'd run into a brick wall of domestic abuse. I've spent most of September contemplating the dark places it has and will continue to take me. 

I voluntarily wondered into this darkness to discover an alarming number of people who have shared their story with me once they'd read Faith's story. I kid you not the statistics of 1 in 4 women is alarming realistic and it means if you know 100 women 25 of them are likely to be victims of domestic abuse (and it's 1 in 6 for men). There are thousands of survivors. People willing to speak out and share their stories. They did not go there by choice. There are also thousands more who still live in fear and silence. They do not choose to stay. 

This year, when I do my thing and think pink ... I'll be taking a few extra minutes to think PURPLE.


For more information and Domestic Abuse Charities for help and guidance. See my dedicate page

Domestic Abuse Awareness Week is 21st-25th November in the UK and 
Women's Aid international 16 days of Action runs from  November 25th - 10th December

Posts You May Have Missed 

How Do Horror Novelists Sleep at Night? 

Novel Excerpt - Tainted Love: The Faith McKenzie Story 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

How Do Horror Novelists Sleep At Night?

I never intended to traverse the world of domestic violence, be that in a fictional one or in the real world. My character made a passing reference to his sister's former abusive relationship and now she'd moved on. That was all. 

But this sister, her name is Julia, she had a story to tell. And it is a fascinating story to listen to. But that was all it was supposed to be; A fictional character, a fictional story.

As a novelist you write what you know and what you don't know you research. The further into Julia's secret world I have walked, the more people I have had to meet, the more stories I have had to read, and the more real domestic  violence has become for me. 

Again, as a contemporary romance author I'm used to waking up in the middle of the night. I'm used to voices screaming in my head, couples arguing, love rivals bickering as one tries to overthrow the other. My Blackberry is beside my bed so I can 'write it down'. What I'm not used to is the sinister dreams.

They're not really nightmares. But they are disturbing.

About 8 weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night after the following dream. It was so vivid I wrote it down.
There's a group of friends in a supermarket. The main female (I do not know how she is) overreacts to her best friend's boyfriend's playful gesture. As the dream continued I learned she knew her best friend because they have both been victims of what I do not know. Except, her friend has little understanding or compassion for the main female because she does not go tearing everyone a new one at the flick of a switch.

In the dream the main female was supported by someone I assume was her boyfriend. He revealed the person who did that to the main female was not anonymous. It was someone she knew and trusted. The thing was she ran away from the group and my attention followed her so I never found out who or what they were talking about.

But there is a third man in the dream. Someone she knew and trusted as much as she did the other men in her life now and as she stands by her car waiting he asked her if she was okay. She broke down. She can't do this. She can't live in the real world anymore.
I woke up. 

In the last 3 to 4 months my writing has taken a darker, edgier turn. But I love the challenge of  tackling these themes in a modern contemporary romance style. My characters might be fiction, and their stories I have made up, but somewhere out there someone lives this life for real. Delving into those lives, trying to put a voice to subjects that at first I tried to dismiss as out of sight out of mind, its upturned my psyche. I do not enjoy dreaming I'm being smothered with a pillow! 

So it makes me wonder... How do horror novelist sleep at night?


Posts You May Have Missed 

Novel Excerpt - Tainted Love -   Valentina Secrets (Book 1)
Novel Excerpt - Behind Closed Doors - Valentina Secrets (Book 2)
Sharing the Light with Laughter - Migraine Awareness Week 2nd - 8th Sept 2012

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Why Do I Free Write?

I love to free write. 

Honestly, I should do it more often.

When my characters won’t “talk” to me, or when perfectly good scenes aren’t making sense, or when I’m just not feeling that novel anymore, I know the worse thing I can do is force it. So I take my notebook and a pen and I go away from the computer and I just wait... a voice will come forward. It might be one I already know or one I’ve never heard before but she, sometimes he, has a “life experience” to share with me, so I write it down.

To Plot or Not To Plot? Now that is the question and when it comes to plotting a novel I don't think there is a write or wrong answer. In my opinion it’s down to the individual writer. Well, if Stephen King avoids it as much as possible then it can't be a necessity right? 

 first, our lives are largely plotless... and second, I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible - Stephen King, On Writing 

I do plot my novels. I’ve said before I have a scene by scene road map. I know where my characters start, finish and how they plan to get there. But it’s their world, their life and they determine the detours along the way and if they don’t get the ending I planned then it’s because they didn’t want it.

But there’s something truly magical about writing freely. It’s like taking a walk inside your imagination which is awesome for me as a writer! Another great thing about just letting the imagination wander off on its own, for me, I find it cures “writers block”. The more I think about not writing the more I can’t write. But if I’m trying desperately to write one particular thing, it only makes it worse. There’s no pressure here. I just write down whatever comes into my head. It has no purpose. It is something that is simply between me and my craft. For the pure enjoyment of writing, and that is why I do this at the end of the day, and want to pursue this as a career, because I enjoy it.

I tried this when I’d finished the first draft of my first very novel Life’s A Ball? I was stuck, most probably a little burned out. So I sat down one day and just let the creative juices flow. It probably won’t surprise you that it was Elle from Life’s a Ball? who spoke to me. But she shared a scene with me which revealed a side to her she’d never had before.

This scene was so good and so much fun that I ended up including it in the rewrite. It’s since changed as the story has grown. The bits I loved about it are no longer included because the story has evolved and today as I take this nostalgic trip back and read that scene I’m actually wondering which scene is better the original or the newer version?

I guess the answer to this question will come when I sit down to do tackle the final rewrite of Life’s A Ball?



Monday, 20 August 2012

Novel Excerpt - Behind Closed Doors

While Tainted Love is going through the rigorous editing process prior to publication I am working hard on book 2 of the Valentina Secrets Series. Here's a sneak preview of what I'm working on at the moment.

Behind Closed Doors - Chapter 12

Late Friday night my now official fiancé brought a courier parcel through to the bedroom and dropped it on the bed. It’s a large parcel, it’s heavy and it’s the third one I’ve received this week. I have no idea what it is. The bizarre thing is I’ve had Mom on the phone this week. She’s acting like nothing happened and we spoke every day for the last eighteen months instead of not at all!
She’s already sent me a dozen brochures of what appears to be venues and wedding services across the entire state of California. How’s she’s found out these things so quick I have no idea but she’s made it clear that my parents think it’s time Wayne and I set a date and of course the Father of the Bride is paying for it. So I can have whatever I want.
I’m hesitant to open this new parcel. The last thing I want is another hint. I haven’t quite got around to telling Wayne the full force of my parents’ sudden change of heart. But this is a square black folder and I’m curious to flick through it. It’s a portfolio. It’s my portfolio!
The accompanying note says just five words; I was a bitch. Sorry. I knew instantly where it had come from and I wanted to wrap my portfolio around over publicized face and mangle up her too hot to resist girl next door features. Ashleigh!
She’d kept this from me for eighteen months. She’d claimed she had no idea what I was talking about when I asked my older brother to get it from her for me. She kept a rift between Sean and me because she was his best friend and she had a score to settle with me.
Well wasn’t she getting her just desserts now?! Karma was a bitch and she hated the idea of press attention the way us mere mortals hated the idea of the plague. It was why she had escaped to New York City, away from her mother who was soap land’s most evil villain and her twin sister whose first movie had recently died a thousand deaths at the hands of a public scandal.
So I hope she suffers long and hard because filling column inches dating television personalities and soap stars like Tristan Micheals, Fletch Wickham and Dex Leighton was a real hardship wasn’t it?

“I thought you’d be happy to get it back.”

What? I looked up. He’s noticed I’m pissed. Well, that must be a first for this week. He’s been off his game all week. He’s sullen. He keeps looking at the daily newspaper and tossing it to one side as he mutters. I think it’s a work thing. He’s usually restless when his job is on his mind. But he can’t talk to me about what homicide cases he’s investigating. We’re meant to go out for a walk along the beach tonight but I know he’s not in the mood.
But I don’t want to talk about Ashleigh. I know I stole her boyfriend but didn’t I make the first move towards fixing this? And she’s thrown it back in my face. She can go to hell. So instead I’m going to focus on whatever is bugging my future husband. 

“What’s the matter?”

Whenever I asked this question and he shrugs I know he isn’t going to tell me. “I’m fine.”

“No you’re not.” I close my portfolio and put it to one side. “Please, I hate to see you like this.”

He takes a deep breath through his nose and releases it was a long sigh before he admits. “I’m just not sure how I feel about Ash being all over the press like this, that’s all.”

By this, I’m perplexed. But then it hits me. His ex is dating celebrities and it’s like he never existed and that’s one helping of a major ego blow dished up and served to my fiancé. “Are you jealous?”
He frowns at me. I’ve thrown him off balance with the question. But he takes a second to consider it before he shakes his head. He has this tell tale little boy innocence in his expression when he’s genuine. So I believe him. “So what’s this really about Wayne?”

 “I wasn't good enough for her was I?” He sighed “The reason I was never invited to LA is because she’s practically royalty over here and has celebrities queuing up to date her. How could I ever compare?”

Wow. I think my heart just shattered into a million pieces. I wish I’d never asked because I didn’t need to hear that. I pull away and he instantly reaches for me. I think he knows he’s just done irreparable damage. I scramble to my feet. I don’t believe it.

“I gave up my life for you” It came out on a gush of air as my lungs started to grasp at oxygen I wasn’t taking in anymore. “And you’re still hung up on her!” I turned on my heels. I needed to get away from him.

“No of course I’m not!” Wayne chased after me and that’s the problem with our apartment. You step out of the bedroom and you’re in the lounge, the kitchen and the dining room all at once. So I can’t run away from the fight I started. “I’ve just found out this week the woman I was dating for six months was a child star and a major celebrity and I had no idea!”

What?! I stopped and turned around. Of course he knew. He must have.

“I didn’t know who her Mom is” He shouted “Her name’s not Valentina and she never let me meet them so how was I supposed to connect the dots from they’re kind of well known. But it just proves to you, doesn’t it? No matter what she said about falling for me, I was never good enough for her, was I?”

“What’s wrong Wayne?” I hissed “Have you just realized you picked the wrong friend after all?”

The back of a hand whipped across my face so fast I didn’t see it coming. Pain screamed through the side of my cheek as the force threw backwards. I hit the wooden floor with a thud. Didn’t that really just happen?
No. It couldn’t have. I closed my eyes for a seconded. When I opened them I was still sat on the floor. My ass was still smarting from the shock of landing with a thump. It did happen. Wayne had just hit me!

I had to leave. I scrambled to my feet. I had to get out of there. I needed to go somewhere I could think about what had just happened. I turned my back on him without so much as looking at him. I grabbed my bag and my keys and I headed for the door.

“Jules” He stepped in front of me.


“Where are you going?”

“Just move!”

“Please” He grabbed my arm and I just looked at his hand and then at him. He let go like my eyes had invisible lasers that had burned him. “I’m sorry. Please let’s talk about this.”

“Get out of my way.”

“Its been hard at work” He whispered “And I can’t talk to you. You know I can’t but… I love you. Please don’t leave me. I’m sorry.”

“Fucking move!”

I can’t believe he hit me. I run out of the apartment and climb into the car so fast. And the tires screech against the asphalt as a swing the vehicle backwards from our parking space. There’s only one person I know can make me feel like this really isn’t as bad as I think it is. I drive towards the Valentina Estate in Malibu. I know that Ashleigh’s Mom will be there if Ashleigh isn’t.
The highway is deserted so the drive should be relatively quick. It will be less than an hour. But my car starts to pull to one side. The wheels feel unbalanced. I pull over and the brand new tire’s gone down. I check my bag. Damn it. I haven’t got my cell phone. I’m stranded on empty road… and I’ve never change a tire before… And my fiancé’s just hit me… tears well up my eyes. This day really sucks!
Out of nowhere a car pulled up behind me. The driver is alone. He’s tall, well over six feet and well built. Something about him raises the hairs on my arms. He’s got those jaded dark eyes like the e-fit of the Homicide Highway Murderer. My heart rate quickens. I’m on the highway between LA and Malibu with a flat tire. 

“Need a hand?”

Boy his voice is creepy! I shake the thought from my head. My fiancé caught the serial killer and now he’s locked up on remand. Wayne caught the murderer and he celebrated by making our engagement official. He brought me a ring and everything! So if this isn’t a genuine offer of assistance then the homicide highway murderer has escaped from prison and I’m his next victim, obviously!

“My tires flat” I choke on my sobs as I explain “and I’ve left my cell at home.” He probably thinks I’m a total freak. Well I am aren’t I? Crying over a flat tire, I mean c’mon Julia get a grip! “S’pose I should check the spare.” I lean into the car to get my keys.
A strong hand wrapped around my throat. What the fuck? Panic balls in my stomach as my lungs began to burn. There was no air getting passed his fingers. I try to remember some of the moves Ash taught me in college but I’m just too stunned to react and getting weaker by the second. But the guy was locked up! Wayne had caught him.

“Do you know where you are?” He asked in the creepy voice all television and movie villains had. Of course, I know where I am. I’m on Homicide Highway and a flat tire was the murderer calling card. “Your future husband is soon going learn he has the wrong man, Miss Anderson.”


Posts You May Have Missed 

Sharing the Light with Laughter 

Novel Extract - Tainted Love 
(Sign up for notification when Valentina Secrets Book 1 is available to buy) 

The Basement - Short Story (Suspense) 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Legal Bit

All characters have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone baring the same name. They are not inspired by an individual known or unknown by the author and all incidents are pure invention.

The articles, excerpts, and other written work published under the pseudonym Erin Cawood are copyright protected by the author. Guest articles are published by arrangement and also copyright protected by the guest author.

Images of Erin Cawood are provided by Paul Miguel Photography.

Sample Text