Tag Archives: Jasmine

Beneath the Distant Star Teaser…

A teaser before the big reveal…

Jasmine Distant Star (3) Teaser FinalCover reveal coming soon…really soon, like, maybe today!

The final Hope Within Novel.

Each cover and blurb has had an update and I’m firing on all cylinders.

I can’t wait for Jasmine’s story to complete the circle of rainbows, oaks and stars.
Let dreams, hope and life prevail!

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Tracks

Week Three’s NaNoWriMo snippet from ‘Beneath the Stormy Sky’…and I said I’d save Jasmine’s crazy for this week!
She’s angry, and hurt, and playing with fire…will her twelve-year-old cousin get caught up in her games?

Photo by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
Jasmine crawled through the hole and stood on the other side. She grinned at Thomas, who leaned against the wire. His face was pale. “We shouldn’t be here,” he said. 
Jasmine scowled. 
“It’s dangerous.”
“That’s the point!” she told him. “You can stay there, you don’t have to come through, but what’s the point in living if you don’t beat anything?” She bent towards him, and waved her hands. “Especially death!”
He recoiled and squatted to slide through the gap. “I’m here, okay.” 
“Cool.” Jasmine moved towards the track, stared up and down the railway line, and glanced at her watch. A big grin filled her face. “We’re on time.”
“What time is it?” asked Thomas.
“Five past four.”
“So what are you doing? Will you get back behind the fence before Four fifteen?” he asked.
“Gosh, you’re a scaredy cat!” Her eyes glistened with adrenalin. “Yes, we’ll be safe before the train comes!”
“And before?”
“It’s our play ground before! We’ve got twelve minutes, or maybe eleven before the train comes!” Jasmine put her foot on the closest track and grinned at Thomas. 
“What about the electric line, the live one?” cried Thomas.
“There isn’t one, we’re not electrified out here,” she told him. “Look, I can stand on the track!” She stood inside the lines and giggled at her cousin’s terrified expression. “It’s fine,” she said glancing at her watch again, “ten more minutes!” 
“What if it’s early?”
“It won’t be that early!” Jasmine felt her heart pound within her chest and her legs felt slightly wobbly. She stared down the rails then hopped from one sleeper to the next. “Whoop whoop!” she cried. 
She twirled on a sleeper slipping off onto the gravel between and giggled. 
“Jasmine,” called Thomas.
“I don’t like you on there…”
“I don’t suppose you do, my mum would have a heart attack!”
“How soon do you want to meet Freya?” Thomas quipped, with more seriousness than he meant. 
Jasmine’s eyes glowered. “I don’t want to meet her, that’s the point!” Her voice rose. “I’ll beat death, she couldn’t manage it, but I can!”
Thomas shrugged and leaned back against the wire fence, gripping it with both his hands.
Jasmine danced along the track again then rushed over to Thomas. “It’s fun!” she said right into his face then waltzed back towards the rails, jumping right into the middle of the track.
“What time is it?” asked Thomas.
“Eight minutes past, we’ve got ages, the train doesn’t come until seventeen minutes…” Jasmine’s heart suddenly leapt into her mouth as the rails beside her began to whine. “What’s that noise?” she asked, spinning round.
“Jazz!” Thomas screamed. “It’s a train!”
Jasmine whirled round and the smile fell from her face. “That’s not the train I expected!” she yelled, “It’s the wrong direction!”
“It’s still coming!”
Jasmine didn’t move. Her heart pounded, and she stared straight at the train racing down the track towards her, but still she didn’t move.
“JASMINE!” Thomas’ scream filled her ears as much as the horn that hooted. The tracks vibrated and Jasmine’s legs turned to jelly. 
“MOVE, JASMINE, MOVE!” Thomas leapt forward towards the track.
She stared blankly at the figure waving fiercely in the advancing train window and suddenly Jasmine came to her senses. Her legs reacted and bounded off the railway as the train squealed past, its horn screaming in her ears. She landed and skidded on all fours in the gravel by the side of the track. She rolled across the stones, unaware of the tear in her jeans and the blood on her hands. Her head spun and her mouth was as dry as the summer earth. She felt violently sick as she rolled onto her knees and stood up, and she shook as she grabbed hold of the wire fence. The train sped on, rushing by in a haze, clattering down the track. Her hands trembled terribly as she hung on and tears slipped unconsciously down her cheeks.  
“Seventeen, seventeen…” she repeated, and tried to read her watch on her wrist. “seventeen…it’s not seventeen…”
Her eyes could make no sense of the numbers on her watch and she heaved a huge tremulous sigh. She looked up and the train had gone, vanished into the distance, leaving only the hint of a hum behind it. Barely able to stand Jasmine let her tears fall freely. She gazed about her then up and down her body, she smoothed down her jacket and stamped her feet, trying to stop shaking. Then the giggles came, surfacing uncontrollably. She laughed, letting tears stream down her face. She stared up at the sky and let the sun blind her. Then she began to calm down. “Thomas!” She licked her lips and shuddered. “Wow, Thomas, did you see that? Of course you did! WOW…I’ve never been so scared, in all my life!” She glanced about her. “Thomas? Thomas? Where are you?” Panic hit her brutally. “Thomas! THOMAS?”

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Stand

So we’re back to NaNoWriMo and last year a few of us posted weekly snippets from our unedited, very rough first drafts…and I thought I’d do the same this year.
For the uninitiated  NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month (November) where us rather mad writerly types attempt to write 50,000 words in one month. I’m on track…
Here’s my first teaser:

This gives you an insight into Jasmine’s character in ‘Beneath the Stormy Sky’.
A teeny bit of background is necessary…in lunch break Jasmine got carried away applying eye liner, and pencilled blue waves from one eye and a shark fin, and a mermaid beneath her fringe across her other eye. Their teacher is losing her patience with the class, having already had altercations with other pupils…

Photograph by Bekah Shambrook (Please do not use)

The class opened their books and began getting pens and pencils. Jasmine grinned, casting a smug sideways glance at Tayla and Amber.
“Will you be joining us Jasmine? Got your maths book with you?” Mrs Rhodes fixed her eyes on the back of the room. Jasmine started and unconsciously flicked her fringe away from her eyes as she opened her bag. She hunted for her book and pencil case. Her maths book appeared to be hiding and Jasmine’s skin prickled beneath the teacher’s stare. The book was nowhere in her bag. She searched again, flicking through books and junk.
“Miss Scott, we’re waiting.”
“The book probably fell through her fingers Miss, that’s what happened in netball…repeatedly!” Tayla scowled.
Jasmine buried her face in her bag, frantically rummaging. She heard Mrs Rhodes’ footsteps tapping on the classroom floor and…there it was, squashed down underneath her lunch box. She retrieved it with relief and dropped it on her desk. She looked up, right up into the teacher’s face.
As Jasmine met her eyes, Mrs Rhodes squinted.
“And who are you today Jasmine?”
Jasmine shook her head, not understanding the question.
“Are you in the right place or were you expecting a field trip to the beach?” Mrs Rhodes fixed her with piercing eyes.
Again Jasmine shook her head. “No, Miss…”
“Then why the face paint? I can see the shark…is that me?” Her lip curled in what Jasmine could only perceive as a sneer. “And you’re the…” she reached down and with barely a touch, gently lifted Jasmine’s fringe. “And you’re the mermaid.”
Jasmine recoiled and shook her hair back across her face. She reddened and licked her lips, her fingernails pinching her palms beneath the desk.
“So sweet, but, this isn’t an art class, we’re a maths class and art doesn’t belong in a maths class.”
Jasmine began to burn as students stared and Tayla grinned.
“So, please take a moment to remove your work of art and return back to us when you’re as plain as an equation.”
Denis snorted, and snickers spread across the class.
Jasmine sat, simmering, her heart pounding and her head throbbing. “No,” she said quietly, “I’m not taking it off, it doesn’t hurt anyone.”
“Pardon me?” Mrs Rhodes raised her eyebrows so high Jasmine thought they’d fly off her forehead.
“No.” Jasmine bit her lip and glowered. Daggers prickled her body and she burned.
“I think you’ll find I’m the teacher here, and what I say goes.” Mrs Rhodes pursed her lips. “Now please go and remove the make-up. It’s against the rules for one thing.”
Tears stung Jasmine’s eyelids.
“If you won’t remove it then you can stand outside.”
Jasmine slammed her maths book back into her bag and slung the bag over her shoulder. She kicked the chair backwards and let it fall, clattering to the floor as she stood. She held the desk with one hand, gripping it for all she was worth, and smoothed her hair out of her face, tucking her fringe behind her ear and exposing her make-up, with the other. “I won’t stay where I’m not wanted!” she spat out the words, spittle landing on her teacher’s face.
Mrs Rhodes watched as her pupil marched out of the class. “Stand outside!” she called as Jasmine slammed the door. The door bounced against its frame.
“Yeah, right!” cried Jasmine and her feet thudded down the corridor.
The classroom door flew open. “I said, wait outside!” called Mrs Rhodes.
“You never said wait…you said stand…and I’m taking one!” shouted back Jasmine.
“Taking what?” yelled Mrs Rhodes.
“A stand, I’m taking one!” and Jasmine was gone.

Sensing my Signature Scents…

I thought I’d try something new on my blog…and write about some of my favourites, and decided to begin with fragrances…

I’m not a heavy perfume wearer, never have been, I can’t stand people who drown themselves in cologne or body spray then wander around in a cloud of it that gets right up peoples’ noses…but I do have my favourite scents, and who doesn’t like to smell good when they dress up?

So I browsed my collection…and it’s very obvious that I’m a Body Shop fan. I remember the little black-topped plastic 15ml bottles of Perfume Oil from Body Shop when I was a teenager, that only cost a few pounds. I think the first one I bought was ‘Strawberry’ then ‘Coconut’ always made me think of summer beaches, I had ‘Apple Blossom’, ‘White Musk’, ‘Mango’, and several others, the names of which escape me…the only one I ever kept was ‘Japanese Musk’ which I would never wear now because the fragrance is too heavy with jasmine, cedar and musk.

The only other throwback to my teens that I have now and still love is ‘Dewberry’, in its redesigned 15ml round glass bottles. I wear Dewberry and every time I open it I am taken back to my bedroom as a fifteen-year-old girl… It’s a delicious late summer berry fragrance, its top notes are blackcurrant, grapefruit, red apple and pear, middle are freesia, lily-of-the-valley, rose and jasmine and a base of peach, apricot, cedar and musk. I inhale the berries, rose and jasmine and adore it!
I used to own ‘Dewberry’ body lotion too and was pretty upset when Body Shop axed it some years later. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I saw the perfume oil back on sale in the Body Shop and bought it again! Right now it’s not available online in the Body Shop and hit and miss if your local has it. You can, however still buy ‘Dewberry’ Body Lotion, Bath and Shower gel.

I have a love of jasmine…I can’t think of a scent I like more than standing outside catching the late night heavy fragrance of jasmine growing across your wall and in my twenties I searched everywhere for The Body Shop’s discontinued ‘Jasmin’ Perfume Oil…I finally found one on ebay and bought it for almost £30. Sadly, it was a much heavier fragrance than I remembered and I really don’t wear it, but it does still evoke strong memories when ever I open it and take a sniff.

To move on, as I ‘grew up’ I moved to the more romantic scents and discovered another Body Shop Body Mist and Perfume Oil ‘The Spirit of Moonflower’. Fruity floral…when I wear it I think of a fresh, flowery watermelon day…hinting greatly at its notes of melon, coriander and gardenia at the top, cyclamen, lily-of-the-valley and lime blossom in the middle and base notes of jasmine and rose. It really is what it says it is…a spiritual, fruity floral…though unfortunately another that appears to be discontinued…

I got a bit miffed at The Body Shop always retiring my favourite perfumes, so searched elsewhere…but I never really found anything I loved. Perhaps the closest I found was a tester of ‘Adorably’ by Mango…a fruity, oriental flowery scent. Holding top notes of red berries and citruses, middle notes of pink pepper (no, never heard of pink peppers…), freesia and lily-of-the-valley and a base of amber, petchouli, musk and vanilla.
Not bad and certainly a perfume I liked, but I wasn’t used to buying branded perfumes or paying the price for them! My Mum had a penchant for Chanel No5…yes, the same one linked to Marilyn Monroe…and Mum had a nice 5ml bottle. So guess which of her cute, 5 or 6-year-old daughters decided to wear the whole lot at once? Yes, the whole bottle…um, that would be me…and I remember buying her a replacement bottle for about £55 when I was about 17, and thinking that was astronomical for a teeny, tiny bottle of perfume! So my perfume choices were thus constrained!

And then…yes, and then…I found my perfect fragrance! And yes, you guessed it…from The Body Shop.

I’d given up on finding anything lovely with Jasmine…and there it was…Neroli Jasmin. No, I didn’t know what Neroli was either… ‘a brown oil distilled from the flowers of various orange trees, esp the Seville orange: used in perfumery’ So now we all know!

Once I knew that, I thought jasmine and orange blossom…yes, I’m onto a winner!
One spray and sniff in the shop and I was hooked. I bought the 100ml Body Mist first for £7, and within a week or two had picked up the  30ml Perfume Oil for a couple of pounds more.
I love the spritz of body mist, nice to walk through and mist my hair, to spray before dressing and a general top up when I want a fragrance…and the Perfume Oil for when I want a longer, more intense scent.
Neroli Jasmin’s top notes are neroli, freesia and violet leaf, middle notes of orange blossom, jasmine and peony and base notes of sandlewood, vanilla, amber and musk.
I feel feminine, sexy and altogether great whilst wearing it!
Definitely my signature scent, and one that I’ve stocked up on! If Body Shop ever want to retire this one they’ll have a fight on their hands!

I think my favourite scents are becoming pretty evident now…a few years back I was searching for Christmas presents, (I have ten nieces…) and came across ‘Impulse Body Spray – New York’…as I read the back I thought, I’ll give this a try too…Only £1.99 (I may have only spent £1 at the time) and containing apple, red berries, jasmine and sandlewood, worked for me! Though I do prefer pump action body sprays rather than aerosols. The Body Shop Body Mists are heavier, more liquid when applied than ‘Impulse’ which is so much more lighter and airy.

Just this year Bekah got a couple of Body Shop vouchers from a magazine, (yes, she bought more than one to get more than one voucher…and I bought one too) and we browsed the shop trying to decide what to buy for £5…Make up? Body lotion? Lip balms? Home Fragrance Oil (yes, I like them too)? In the end we checked out the ‘Love Etc’ perfume and discovered the little heart-shaped tin of solid perfume…not something we’d come across before. £5…perfect and it smelled good! So we both bought one, and she went back a day or two later with another voucher and bought the £5 trial spray. I’ve never used a solid perfume before, so this was interesting, but fascinating. A brilliant idea to keep in your purse for a top up, or to just rub onto your pulse points when needed. It lasts well and guess what the notes are? A fusion of neroli, pear and bergamot at the top, jasmine, heliotrope and lily-of-the-valley in the middle and base notes of vanilla, sandlewood and musk. Ring any bells? To me it’s a soft summer fruit fragrance with sweet shop tones…marshmallow and candyfloss ( that would be the vanilla!).

So, now you know my favourite scents… 
which would be something like Jasmine, Neroli, Red Berries,
and a base of Sandlewood or Vanilla…
What do you like?

‘Dewberry’, ‘The Spirit of Moonflower’, ‘Neroli Jasmin’, ‘Love Etc’… all found at The Body Shop (though ‘Spirit of Moonflower’ is probably no longer available)

‘Impulse Body Spray – New York’ was a limited edition spray, so may also be unavailable, but I bought mine at Superdrug. You can find it at Boots.

‘Mango Adorably’ Needs to be Googled, it’s available at Amazon and many other sites from £1 up to £30