Hi, and thanks for joining me.
You may have noticed that I have been rather quiet lately. Well, after struggling with colds, the sad loss of my mother-in-law, and my husband’s slow recovery from a broken wrist, this has not been a great year for us so far. Of course, a certain young lady has kept us all smiling.
Needless to say, focusing on my family has left little time to work on my writing. It seems that any opportunity to get into that writing ‘zone’ doesn’t last very long in my household at the moment, and any story threads I manage to sew get broken all too quickly. The only writing I have done recently has been short stories about my crossdresser protagonist and his friend for fionadobson.com I really enjoy working with this complex character and try to bring both humour and emotional turmoil into the pieces. Not only am I pleased to make a small contribution to such a fun and informative site for part of the LGBTQ community, it is also an opportunity for me to explore character development and use of language, not always straightforward when he becomes she 🙂
So when my publisher gave me the option to take the rights back to my books – and btw I didn’t feel devalued by this, they made this offer to all their authors, knowing how difficult it is to make money in the small publishers’ market – I saw this as an opportunity to re-edit my stories. Having completed six books so far, I have learned a hell of a lot along the way and know my writing has improved since book number 1 The Secret at Arnford Hall was published over two years ago.
My goal now is to retreat into my writing world and focus on making my books even better. This exercise will be both cathartic and inspiring. Already I feel motivated to create new characters and plots for readers to enjoy.
Whilst I work on the edits, you will only be able to download one of my books, the short story – The American Best Man. (The good news is, this book is free.) . . . .
My other books will be unavailable for a while but I’ve chosen some of my favourite short extracts to share with you here. Don’t forget you can still check out my Quick Reads for free too 🙂
Thanks for your patience, and I hope we can keep in touch. Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Secret At Arnford Hall
And then she saw it as they rounded a sweeping bend. The trees gave way to open meadow, wild and romantic with splashes of red from poppies and blue from meadow flowers. The dark stone of Arnford Hall, a sensual and yet fearful magnet, luring you into its walls, but warning that it might not let you go again. It was like a majestic castle, threatening to captivate all who entered, with its gothic beauty and its secrets, secrets it would not let you take back to the outside world.
“Breathe!” he commanded for the second time. “Welcome to Arnford Hall.”
As Michael opened her door, Grace heard Black asking John to go into the house and let Steve know he was home. She was vaguely aware that his father remained near her, observing her face as her eyes drank in the rise of the stone steps, flanked by stone-winged, menacing gargoyles. She could hear them screeching, “Do not enter, do not enter…”
The windows, with their leaded veils, were casting pitiful glances down on her, and she could imagine them chattering to each other. “Poor child, poor dear child…”
Finally, she dragged her eyes away from the Hall and turned to its master. Her mouth fell open as he said softly, “It’s okay. I used to hear them too.”
We’re going to have dinner with two of my friends, Bob and Jane,” Byron told her, glancing across at his passenger to see her reaction to the word “friends,” as he drove along the leafy lanes of the Cheshire village. “Bob’s a detective chief inspector and his wife Jane used to be a professional dancer. She teaches yoga now.”
Lauren felt a slight pang of jealousy. She had always been confident with her figure, enough to wear scanty, revealing clothes and not be embarrassed about exposing her body. She was happy in the skimpiest of bikinis on the beach or at a poolside. But it was more thanks to genetics than exercise and diet. Lauren worked hard and ate little. She drove far and exercised little. The thought of seeing Byron with a slim, very flexible yoga teacher had not been part of her analysis. Just how flexible can I get in nine weeks? She consoled herself with the fact that Miss Yoga Goddess was, in fact, Mrs.
“Are they in the ‘Guiltless’ club?” she asked.
“No. ‘Guiltless’ has only two members.” Byron’s sexy voice was low and reserved, as though he was holding something back. “But before you ask, yes, I join them for sex.” His words I hope you’ll like them remained unspoken.
“So, you have a girl in your life now.”
How the hell does she know? She can’t know! “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no one, never has been. And, before you ask, I’m not coming back to this.” He gestured around the room.
Miranda smiled. “Lawrence, don’t think I can’t tell there is something making your eyes twinkle, and I’m sure it’s not me!”
“It must be the light.” He wasn’t in the mood for small talk.
The tension between them eased slightly. Lawrence tasted the omelette but couldn’t face more than a mouthful. He was beginning to feel sick and just wanted it to be over. He slugged some wine. And then some more.
Miranda watched him as she ate and sipped her wine. What she would have given to know his thoughts. Soon he would be free of her. But not just yet.
She could tell he wasn’t going to talk much, as he started to shuffle the food around his plate, his eyes dark, masking his emotions. She couldn’t feel sorry for him—she wasn’t that kind of woman. Why waste energy on such a useless emotion? Rather, she wanted to cherish this last time spent with him. She indulged in the pleasure of studying his handsome face with its perfect features, his deep-set green eyes, those animated eyebrows that could easily convey humour, beguilement or anger, his angular nose enhancing high cheekbones, his sensual lips—surely any girl would beg to be kissed by them—and his golden-brown hair, which fell across his brow. Oh, she was going to miss him.
As Miranda emptied her wine glass, Lawrence poured them both another. Their eyes made contact. He turned away, feigning great interest in the room and its contents as if he had never seen them before.
Miranda threw her head back again, with a soft laugh. “Oh, come on, Lawrence. You can see I haven’t changed anything in here.”
An Unconventional Affair Book 1 Email Indulgence
Barrington quickly clicked his foot back into the bike and pedalled. As the tears welled in his eyes, he made his way to a nearby parking bay and climbed off the bicycle. Did she embrace him? Did she kiss him? He couldn’t think straight. Clasping the handlebars he pushed through the crowd, heading back to the Starbucks. Tee was gone. He thought he saw the guy standing in a shop doorway with his phone to his ear.
Shit! Barrington tried to calm down and think straight. He had no right to get this upset. Tee had never committed to being exclusive with him. What had Candice’s said? She knows lots of men. He suddenly felt sick and angry. He didn’t want to see any other girls—Tee was enough for him. Even though they had only seen each other a few times, each time their connection seemed more intimate, deeper, more committed. He had been certain she wouldn’t need to see anyone else. Hadn’t she admitted that she only went with other men for sex? Hadn’t he told her she could call him anytime she wanted? Why would she need to go to another man? And that didn’t look like a man with whom she only had sex. The way his arms enveloped her, it was as if he possessed her. Barrington couldn’t imagine Tee allowing anyone to get that close to her.
An Unconventional Affair Book 2 A Risk Worth Sharing
“I told you, we’re going to teach you to ride your bike.”
“Me. And Tee and Sebastian.”
“Is she that pretty woman you wanted me to meet at the coffee shop?”
Barrington swallowed. Not much got past this young lady. Unfortunately. He had been so distracted by the events of last night and this morning that he had forgotten that Ruby had already met Tee. The anxiety, that he had managed to suppress when he got to the vicarage to collect Ruby, steadily took its hold as they approached the driveway to Sebastian’s mansion. How was he going to explain this? And the size of the man’s house was the least of his worries.
“He’s Tee’s friend. And mine,” Barrington added as an afterthought.
“Does Grandad know him?”
“What?” Why so many bloody questions?
“Well, when you got in this morning, and I don’t mind by the way.”
“You don’t mind what?”
“You being out all night. I was used to you being home every night, but it doesn’t matter.”
“Ruby, I’m sorry. I should have told you I wouldn’t be home first thing. But you had a nice time with Grandad, didn’t you?”
“Yeah. We watched the Grand Prix. Hamilton won. He’s from here, isn’t he?”
“So anyway, does Grandad know this man, Sebastian?”
“Er…I don’t think so.”
“I thought not.” She sounded smug. “He only asked about Tee this morning. You said she was fine and that you had a good time. You never mentioned this other bloke.”
Oh fuck. Barrington turned to stare at her for a moment. Her tone gave no indication of how she felt about the fact that he wasn’t there when she got up this morning. It was the first time it had happened since he moved her into his little house in Melbourne.
“Wow!” Suddenly, Ruby’s eyes widened with wonder.
Barrington managed to smile, grateful for the breathing space he was sure he had just earned. Ruby’s face was a picture of astonishment and excitement as the huge white house loomed in front of them.
The inside of the car was blissfully silent for the next few seconds.