Tag Archives: teaser

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: Oncoming Traffic

So it’s the final NaNoWriMo week…and here’s your last unedited snippet:
Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)
Once on the main road, Meg stared out of the window at the river running alongside, the sunshine glinting and sparkling across its surface, and Meg thought how inviting it looked. The she heard sniffles, just a little one then another. She squinted at Mum as the sun gleamed across the windscreen, and Mum choked back a sob. Meg wanted to say something, but nothing made it out of her throat. 
“I don’t know why I bother!” wept Mum, “What’s the point, everything always goes wrong…”
Meg sat, her skin prickling and her fingers clenching. 
“There really is no point. Did you know that Meg, there’s no point, no point to anything…”    
“Mum…” squeaked Meg.
“Just know that now, before life decides to rip you apart with its dreams and promises. Know that nothing’s worth it!”
Meg’s eyes welled up too.
Mum turned her head to look at her daughter. “Meg, don’t cry, that’s not worth it either. Crying doesn’t do a damn thing!” 
Tears began to slip down Meg’s face as she sat in silence.
Mum continued, as a car horn blared behind her. “Don’t cry, there’s nothing we can do, not a damn thing!” Mum released the steering wheel and Meg’s eyes widened. She cried out. “Mum!” 
Mum’s hands were back on the wheel but she was staring rigidly at the road. Not at the road, thought Meg suddenly as she stared out of the windscreen, but at a lorry heading down the opposite side of the road. Her mum was staring at the lorry. Her mum was staring at the lorry! 
“Mum!” Meg screamed, “Mum!”
The car began to veer across the double white lines, and Meg’s cries got desperate. “Mum, stop, Mum, stop!” Meg began to wail as they veered into the lorry’s lane. Meg grabbed at the wheel but Mum’s hands were too firm. Meg closed her eyes, her heart about to break through her chest and just as suddenly, the car swerved back onto the right side on the road, the lorry’s horn screaming as it passed. 
Meg’s legs were jelly, her hands sweaty and shaking and she wanted to get out of the car. “Mum, stop the car, stop the car!”
Her mum, slowed the car down, but kept driving, a car horn sounded behind them and Meg begged her mum to stop again. Finally, as they approached a lay-by her mum slowed and pulled over. The car stopped and Meg scrambled out, slamming the door behind her and running to the hedge. She thought she was going to be sick, her head thumped, her stomach swam and her heart broke.

Five Sentence Fiction: Feast

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)
There were no worries about walking on egg shells Mum had already broken all the eggs. Meg had painstakingly cleaned the walls and kitchen cabinets herself. Bright, sunshine yellow yolks had dripped down the tiles and sticky, gooey egg white had plastered the cabinets and floor. Following the eggs had been the plastic tub of butter, which had split upon hitting the wall and a huge smear of butter had spread, landing in a heap on the surface. Meg rued that day.  
Written for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction. I’m so caught up in the final week of NaNoWriMo, that you get another glimpse into Meg’s life… From next week, you should be getting more one off fiction again!

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Fault Lines

Our third NaNoWriMo week is upon us…therefore another snippet:
This one, again very unedited…is harder to give you. I make no apologies for the nature of the excerpt, I write what I know, but please bear in mind this is fiction.
You need to know that Meg is fourteen and troubled, her mother is depressive and Meg hadn’t realised how bad things had become. She sneaked upstairs to find her mum and saw her mother cut herself, through the door hinges. Meg was devastated, and in the following chapter tried it, but couldn’t do it, herself. The tension mounts:

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook and Instagram (Please do not use without permission)
While Dad sat at the desk checking emails, Meg disregarded the chair she usually sat in and took the empty seat beside Mum. Mum glanced at her daughter and a smile played on her lips. She rested her hand on Meg’s thigh and caught Meg’s eye, and her daughter leaned across to burrow close. Nobody spoke but mother and daughter felt familiar warmth. Meg placed her hand on Mum’s and felt emotion bubble in her throat; she couldn’t talk even if she wanted to. 
They sat like that for a while, Meg’s head resting on her mother’s shoulder and their unusually tender affection soothed the crippling anguish in both of their hearts.
The clock ticked, the cat sat in the middle of the floor straining his neck to reach his hindquarters as he meticulously washed, and Meg’s mum closed her eyes as she relaxed.
Meg heard her mum sigh and her chest rose and fell with comforting regularity, Mum was in a good place and Meg allowed herself to breathe deeply. She stared at her mum’s hand, the one that lay on her lap, and gently stroked the back of it. She rubbed her fingers across the rings on Mum’s third finger. The smooth gold band and the perpetual circle of tiny diamonds circumnavigating her eternity ring. She lightly rotated the diamonds, letting them sparkle, then massaged Mum’s hand up to her wrist. 
Mum’s breath was soft and tranquil and Meg softly pushed Mum’s sleeve up her arm in a gentle move to massage further. Her mum didn’t move, and Meg pushed it higher. The cut tapered below the furrowed sleeve, peering angrily at Meg. She massaged lightly and softly followed the cut, then ran her finger over the reddened, swollen ridge. 
Her mum flinched and instinctively reached across and pulled the sleeve back down, covering any betrayal. 
Meg bit her lip desperate to speak, her heart raced, thumping so loud she was sure Mum could hear it. Indy stopped licking himself and paused in an ungainly fashion mid-clean, he stared at Meg and Meg stared back. Mum sighed and Meg spoke, softly but firmly.
“Mum, how did you cut your arm?”
The silence was ear piercing for a split second, and Meg felt the tension pool into her mother. Her mum cleared her throat and nodded towards the cat gazing at them on the floor. “The cat scratched me.”
Nobody spoke; even Dad’s fingers hovered above his keyboard.
Then Mum cleared her throat again and despite the palpable tension she brushed her fingers across Meg’s arm. “And how did you get that scratch Meg?”
“The cat,” Meg’s answer was quick and precise. She was learning well.

Five Sentence Fiction: Business

Photograph by Bekah Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
She wandered through town, slinking between mothers and pushchairs, corporate men and women, and shoppers, all in a hurry to be finished in town before the mid-morning regulars appeared. Everybody minded their own business and Meg was nothing extraordinary, as usual she was invisible and that was just how she wanted it. 
She flew from one shop to another, darting from one doorway to the next until she was clear of the town centre, unhindered by people and out on her own. Ghosts travelled amongst the living unseen, living out their haunted nightmares and Meg was no different to a phantom lost amid the sentient.  In response her heart beat rapidly and as she slowed down again she was aware of the sound of her blood surging and pumping through her veins, she was alive, even though she barely felt it.
Written for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction – Business. I am still pretty locked in to NaNoWriMo, so stuck with another five sentence excerpt.

NaNoWriMo Teaser: The Old Oak

Second week into NaNoWriMo and it’s time for another teaser, happier than the last two… again pretty much unedited, oh, how you notice excess words when your inner editor is locked away! 
The oak tree is Meg’s escape, somewhere to go when it all gets too much…
Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
The tree looked perfectly normal, but Meg was far from anything resembling normal. She got to her feet and stepped forward, hoping to feel something more, but nothing, not even a shimmer, nothing, until she placed both hands directly back on the trunk. 
Once more her hands smarted and she was drawn closer. She rested her cheek against the coarse bark and closed her eyes. 
Images flooded her mind, hundreds, all at once…and laughter, and tears, and grief and joy. Impressions swamped her consciousness and emotions filled every fibre of her, until she again withdrew. Then she clamped her hands back onto the tree and allowed the sensations to bathe her for as long as she could. She tried to sort the images, but they flashed too fast, and the sounds all merged into one big noise. 
Then an image leaped out at her, a boy’s excited face, a young boy, no more than seven or eight, scrambling through its branches, whooping in glee as he climbed. She grinned and watched him climb through the twisting branches to the delight of onlookers below. He didn’t get very far, but his exhilaration thrust through her as he crawled from branch to branch, and then swung on the furthest reaching bough to leap back down to the ground and his eager friends. 
The image fizzled and Meg let go of the tree. Infused with excitement and before she knew it she was standing on the bulging root launching herself up onto the lowest branch. She grabbed at twigs and stems and pulled herself up, straddling the bough. Then she reached up to the next fork and clambered onto the higher branch. She settled in a nook, and swung her legs enjoying the new perspective from just a few feet up. 
It was a while later as the sun rose higher in the sky that Meg checked her watch. Way past ten o’clock and panic struck, she’d been gone far too long, lost in this world of hers.
She shuffled on the branch and grabbed a gnarl and stuck her hand in a tiny hole to lower to the branch below. She carefully let herself down and felt her feet touch the bough. She released her sore hand and balanced before letting go with the other. It was then she realised boots were not the best footwear for climbing damp trees. 
Her sole slipped and her leg jack-knifed beneath her, her hand ripped away from the tree and she tumbled past the branch she was trying to reach. As she hit the ground pain cleaved her head and she plunged into darkness.

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Blood

One week into NaNoWriMo and Meg McNulty from Darcy to Dionysus has challenged us to give you a peek into our novels…please remember these are unedited words…we’re all pretty desperate to get in there and tidy up and tweak etc, but November is for writing, anything else comes later! I’ve locked my inner editor away…
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…
So here’s mine, it’s double the 100 words requested, but hey, that’s how writing works! 
Photograph: Blood in the Sink by Lisa Shambrook and Instagram
(Please do not use without permission)

Meg’s heart pumped and tears spilled, but she refused to make a sound. In fury she caught up a drinking glass and dropped it into the water. It sank to the bottom of the sink and Meg heard the pop of shattering glass beneath the water. She wiped her tears on her arm and stared at the broken glass. Another deep breath followed and she slowly reached into the water to retrieve the tumbler. She ignored the gnawing heat and wrapped fingers around the bottom of the glass. The subsequent plume of scarlet that rose through the water like a spiral of red ink fascinated her and she released her fingers. She moved her hand through the water, watching the flow of blood follow then came to her senses and pulled her hand out of the sink. Droplets of blood rolled off her hand and splashed into the red liquid. Meg clasped her hand to her, holding the cut tightly closed and sank to the floor. This time she allowed her tears to fall uncontrolled and she wept.
Crystal water coloured by her scarlet blood and Meg continued to sob, her chest heaving with effort, but no sound left her lips and no one came.