With my first book out and a lot of marketing work to do, you'd think I'd be busy setting everything up for a more comfortable future. But - authors will be authors - the imagination doesn't sit still. The creative muscle still needs exercizing, so I will introduce my next work: a quirky, faux-medieval tale with a lot of... children. I won't give away the plot, for obvious reasons, but you can read on for a snippet of the first page.
Here is the draft cover which was made with Shutterstock, I just love the colours! This captures the theme perfectly, on the beautiful setting of Jersey and Guernsey islands. What do you think?
Anyway, here goes...
Time waits for no one.
Rachel could tell, just by taking in the lines of Dean’s face, not to mention her own. No, it wasn’t that they were old. Not by modern standards. In this day and age you could easily finish your education, fix up a career and start your own family, all by the age of thirty -and still look fresh. In this day and age, the 20s and 30s were your prime time, the rest still ahead. But when she looked at the face she knew and loved well, then thought over her own 29 years… she couldn’t exactly boast in having achieved much in that time.
They were sat in an open plan café, overlooking the cliffs and the sea. It was Dean’s idea. He decided to book them both a week’s break in Jersey, away from the cities and mainland grime. But deep down, they both knew change was coming, and holding up the process was pointless. Why hasn’t he asked me to marry him yet? Rachel wasn’t sure what doubts (or surprizes!) Dean was keeping hidden, but she herself was nearing the end of her patience. They had been going out for two years. It was quite clear they could get along in the good times as well as the rough. They were halfway through this romantic holiday, with plenty of opportunities to ask the question. What more was there to wait for?
This whole waiting game was getting pretty jarring. If by the end of this break, Dean hadn’t fund the guts to offer some level of commitment… she didn’t want to think about that. Of starting all over again. Of long periods alone, not hearing his laugh fill up the cracks in the wall. One failed relationship per lifetime was enough, thank you. With the two of them at their third decade, it was about time they had something to show for it. So far, there was nothing from the holy trinity: no bachelor’s degree, no high-flying job, no kids.
“Shall we ask for the bill then?” Rachel pushed away the remains of her crab salad, not wanting to sit still a moment longer.
“Why, sure, if you don’t want to relax a bit longer. Take in the view?”
She took a final glance at the multi-layered streets, descending like steps to a gleaming sea in the distance. This beauty didn’t mean a thing if it failed to bring them together. “I’m sure we can laze around wherever we go. That’s what a holiday is for.”
“True, true.” Dean called over a waitress, and in a few minutes they were packing to go. They stepped out into a warm evening, heels clicking in sync along the cobblestones. Despite her mildly sour mood, Rachel had to admit the choice was perfect. The channel island had just the right amount of historical charm, beach access, home-away-from-home kind of thing. All whilst avoiding the bothers of flying abroad and sameishness of a standard English coastal town. Rachel had already been to the likes of Clacton and Western-supermare, and couldn’t exactly say she was excited to go back. For a while, the pair didn’t say anything. They enjoyed these daily walks through town, through salt marsh, over cliffsides and along the shore. Each day choosing another direction, discovering something new. No one rushed here. Locals and tourists alike were out on the streets and terraces,, lapping up the last rays of sun. Such a quiet, simple lifestyle. Sometimes, she wished she could say the same for life back home. Today the walk led them past Gorey on the island’s East coast. On several occasions they’d caught sight of the imposing Mont Orgueil Castle, but up until today, they’d been too far off or distracted to pay it a visit. But you can’t ignore an 800 year old building forever – it can wait and wait, but eventually, you’ll want to come in yourself.
“Do you think we’ll have to pay to get in?” Rachel asked when the castle loomed just ahead, its ancient stones quiet, as if observing the newcomers from a distance.
“Don’t know. Might even be closed, this late.”
As the pair drew in to the entrance, it turned out Dean was right: opening hours were 10am to 6pm, and visitors had to pay an entrance fee. It had just passed six when they left the café.
“That’s a shame,” Rachel peered through the gates “It’s as if every time we mention coming here, something else crops up and gets in the way. We’ll just have to come back tomorrow. I’m not leaving Jersey until we do.”