Novel #3: “In The Name of Love” Preview…. #amwriting #preview

 

This week, I shared with you a little flash fiction, it was a snip-it from the current novel I’m writing. The genre is thriller! ( Yeah baby!), I introduced you to Charlotte Price- Smith the main female lead in my story. Here’s a little background on the story itself. I have named the story ” In the Name of Love.”

Charlotte, (thirty- five in the present day) has been convicted for the murder of her ex- lover’s wife five years ago. Both she and her ex-lover were on trial for the murder at the time. They both had a motive for murder. Her ex- lover   Joseph, is actually an old school friend.  She met him years later  when the affair started, he has a shady background also. He is actually one of London’s notorious drug dealers, trying to make his money and leave that life behind. He spends a lot of time between London and Amsterdam. The two go on trial.

Due to some incriminating evidence the jury leaned toward Charlotte as the guilty party. That and the fact that she is sadly, mentally ill she was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of eighteen, but hid it well from her lover and everyone else who did not know her well, when she was in the free world.

At thirty, she’s trialled for murder, and sentenced to time in a mental institution as apposed to prison due to her mental ill health. The Judge thought she was at the time criminally insane.  Charlotte has pleaded not guilty from day one, and in fact feels she was framed by her lover.   Five years later, aged thirty -five she has a score to settle and wants to clear her name. While  fighting to have her case reopened and heard in court again,which she does manage to achieve due to advances in DNA matching five years later, she falls in love again… I won’t give away all the details. 

Readers will learn who the real murderer is….And have a some what shocking surprise!

I won’t say too much! But I will say, this is not a predictable story, the  “who-done-it” will surprise you, the character line up is diverse, and you will be transported between London, Amsterdam’s Red Light district and the Caribbean as a reader. You know me I like to keep it suspenseful, modern and engaging so I hope it will be an enjoyable story.

I’ll do another flash fiction snip-it soon so stay tuned! But for now here is the one I did earlier this week. Click here.

Flash Fiction: Meet Charlotte Price- Smith #amwriting #character #preview #thriller #novel

It’s late on a Saturday night and if you’re indoors keeping warm like me, here is a little introduction to the main heroine in the current thriller novel I’m writing. I won’t say too much about her, I’ll let her introduce herself. It’s New Years Eve, and she’s on a mission to prove she is not guilty of murder. So who is?

 

Part One

 

CHAPTER ONE: CHARLOTTE—2014

 

  31st December 2014, 11:00p.m.

     I stare blankly at the familiar scenes on TV I’ve seen year after year.  It’s a chilly New Year’s Eve. Despite the minus degree temperature and threat of snow Westminster Bridge, and central London are packed with party goers, old and young, from near and far.  Happy faces of all races smiling for the camera, holding up their banners with Happy New Year! They’re all there to see out the old and welcome in the new. Something I’ve longed to do, clear out the old bitter twisted thoughts in my mind and welcome something new. 

  I tear my eyes from the TV and take in the surroundings of my small shabby room. It’s dimly lit with a bedside lamp and no bigger than a prison cell. Within the four walls house a single bed, a cheap plastic table with two chairs in the corner, a built-in wardrobe and a sink with a leaky tap. The walls were once a shade of magnolia—I remember, with all the years of chain smoking the shade has shifted to a drab shade of yellow.

     My room faces the main road opposite Kings College Hospital, London’s largest teaching hospital in south London, Camberwell. Peckham is to the west of the hospital and Brixton to the south of the hospital. Camberwell has never been a pretty place to hang around in, drugs, gangs, drunks and prostitutes are all part of the furniture in this part of town.  From what I’ve read in the paper Brixton is now up and coming, it recently opened a Costa Coffee shop and now has quant little cafes by Marks and Spencer. The new so called up and coming young working professionals over the years have invested mummy and daddy’s cash in the area. This has somehow lifted Brixton’s shackles of drugs, gangs, drunks and prostitutes— by day time at least.

      I’ve been rooted here in this same spot, a mental institute since the age of thirty. I’m now thirty -five. For the last five years, I’ve been confined within the four walls of a tiny hospital room in Mausely Hospital, ever since that day. The day my whole life changed, when I met Joseph and her.

      “Criminally insane” the prosecution labelled me as I stood on the dock at the Old Baily Crown Court, central London five years ago. I laughed at their accusation and refused to believe that I’m the insane one. As the years passed by, I often wonder, am I? Insane? Maybe, for falling in love with Joseph Andrew. Does that make me insane because five years ago I was a woman in love?

“Right then Miss Charlotte let’s get you sorted for the night, shall we?”

 The voice of my favourite nurse Patience breaks my thoughts, as she enters my room.  She’s a short heavy set lady in her early fifties with skin the colour of mahogany, her hair is always braided neatly and piled up on the top of her head. As usual she looks like she’s about the bust out of her uniform. Nurse Patience is the sister in charge of Rainbow Ward where I’ve spent the last five years.  I stare and blink at Nurse Patience’s thickly painted on eyebrows and bright gold lipstick with dark liner, I’m happy to see her. Over the years, I’ve grown fond of her, she treats me like a human being which was more than what the other nurses do.

 “Ah— ah Charlotte when was the last time you took a bath, and changed out of that ragged cardigan? Look at this room, cigarette ash is everywhere.”

 Nurse Patience opens her thick arms and gestures around the room for me to take note.

“Tomorrow we will start a new regime, being the New Year and all. Let’s start as we mean to go on OK?’’

     I look down at my ragged black leggings with a hole in the knee and my pink cardigan. Nurse Patience is right, I’ve not had a bath for days or even left my tiny prison cell room to socialise with the other patients. What is the point in a bath anyway? Over the last five years every time I look in the mirror I see less and less of my former self. I give nurse Patience a faint smile to acknowledge her comments about my appearance and living state.

“Cheer up girly.’’

Nurse Patience says as she leaves the door open, for safety reasons and approaches me slowly. She sits down on my narrow bed. Its springs give way under her heavy behind. Nurse Patience hands me my nightly medicine. Two Olanzapine tablets and a glass of water and watches me with enthusiasm.

“What is this, Lemonade? Patience I’ve not had this is a long time!’’

I giggle as I swallow the content of the plastic cup. Nurse Patience smiles at me with a warm motherly smile.

“Happy New Year Charlotte, and may this year be a better one for you.”

Nurse Patience smiles again and gives me a small wink, she lifts her heavy behind off the bed and makes her way to the door and calls over her shoulder.

“And Charlotte, tomorrow we are taking a bath ah— ha ok!’’

   I can’t help but feel a mutual warmth for her as she closes the door quietly behind her. Again I’m in solitude, alone on my stiff single bed sitting upright, I turn back to the TV it’s 11:30p.m. already.  I watch a pretty blonde female presenter on the TV wrapped up in a black hat, scarf and gloves walk along Westminster Bridge, she stops random members of the public to ask what brings them to Westminster Bridge this year.  I zone out of the TV conversation and roll a cigarette then head over to the mirror. In the dirty plastic mirror above the leaking sink I look at my reflection.  I’m greeted with a pale porcelain colour face, sunken in cheeks, greasy dirty blonde hair to my shoulders and dim green eyes.  I look every one of my thirty –five years and then some. At five— foot— ten now all I am is a tall thin and frail skeleton of a woman, I lost all my curves years ago.

I pull on my cigarette, as the nicotine hits the back of my throat I think back to my former self and my curves. I remember that’s what attracted him to me. My curves plenty of them for a white English girl he’d always say. A man likes a little booty to hold onto at night! He’d say with a cheeky grin and his gold tooth flashing. I’m less than half the woman I used to be.  Depressed at the reflection staring back at me in a bright pink cardigan from the local Scope charity shop along Camberwell New Road, I turn away and go over to the window. I stare out at Kings College Hospital and the main road. The main road is buzzing even more than usual with people. In my mind, I imagine they’re on their way to house parties, to see family and friends and of course central London to visit London’s famous Westminster Bridge fireworks display put on especially for tonight. I spot a group of girls in sky scraper high heels running past the hospital opposite me, to the bus stop to catch the number 176 bus, making its way down Denmark Hill. I smile as I watch them laughing and joking in their skirts and heels.

      I tear my eyes away from the group of girls and spot a couple walking up past the hospital toward Denmark Hill station. A black male and a white female are holding hands and well dressed for the cold weather in hats, scarfs and gloves. As he holds her hand he walks along with the natural confidence of a man with everything, his swag in his walk shows he’s full of confidence with his girl on one arm and their Nandos take-away bag on the other. She’s carrying a blue plastic bag a tell tell sign of a trip to the local off licence for cheap Lambrini wine and beers. The sight of them makes my heart stop. My mind races back to a place I’ve not been mentally for a long time. I move away from the window and glance at the clock 11:45p.m.

     I finish smoking on my bed, careful not to drop any ash this time in fear of what nurse Patience will say in the morning. I lay down facing the TV, my mind  races  as I  hear the celebrations, well wishes and the pretty presenter on the TV all in good spirits. The crowd around the bridge eagerly await London’s pretty firework display to bring in the New Year.

     The Olanzapine starts to kick in and relax my racing mind. I close my eyes and reflect on life and the events that brought me to this drab mental institution in south London.

 I’m Charlotte Price-Smith or was, should I say. I had a career and happy go lucky attitude. I was a nurse myself, a paediatric nurse at Lewisham Hospital south London. I loved my job, the kids, caring for others, no two days were ever the same. University and training were hard, throughout my nurse training days the one thing I hid well at the time was my mental instability. I was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of eighteen.  Even then, I hid it well until my best friend Tamara noticed the slashes on my arm and strange behaviour.

     My job had been stressful to say the least, back then I’d become reliant on mood stabilisers and sleeping pills. A heavy work load and up and down shift patterns  left me burnt out at times. I got through it with the support of colleagues and Tamara. Tamara had been my rock at times. I wish that she’d never moved south from London, to the south West coast of England to Cornwell, to practice medicine after qualifying as a doctor. Over the years our contact has reduced, every now and then I receive a letter with the familiar handwriting on the envelop, and my heart always skips a beat. Someone has remembered my birthday, or just wants to say hi would run through my mind, when an envelope arrived. Over the years, that someone has normally been Tamara. This is more than what my own family has ever done in the last five years I’ve been locked up in an institution. My family were in complete denial about my mental state prior to my life spiralling out of control, and are even more in denial now. Ashamed probably, that their only child  turned into a nut job, risked her life in some of the more rough areas of south London to make friends, just to be accepted and decided to date outside her race. The latter was a hard pill for dear old daddy to swallow. He imagined I’d end up with some stuffy upper classed white male from the medical field, and live a nice quiet life in the suburbs of Bromley. Mixing with “those people” in our neighbouring areas of Lewisham and Catford  will get me into trouble he’d say … it did.

    Five whole years have passed, and not one birthday or Christmas card arrived from my parents, not even a letter to see how I’m doing, cooped up in a mental institution. The ladies on Rainbow Ward as crazy as they are have become my family as well as nurse Patience of course. They accept me, love me and make me feel part of a family. It all stared back in 2008, when Joseph Andrew I and crossed paths at a club, I was on a girl’s night out with Tamara.  Tamara and I both know him from college. Back then Joseph and I were from two different backgrounds completely in our college days. I was the middle classed white girl and he the inner city black boy. 

All those years later when we met that night at the club, not much changed we were still from two different worlds—but I was drawn to him. Tamara warned me off.  The bad boys were trouble—especially Joseph Andrew she said. I couldn’t help myself back then.  We exchanged numbers that night at the club and met up for coffee the following Saturday morning. One thing led to another, I fell in love.

  I refocus on the TV and watch the crowd along Westminster Bridge cheer, when the ten second countdown begins, I bring my mind back to the present from my old life.  I stare at the TV in a zoned-out state. My stabilisers take full effect. I focus on the clock hands on Big Ben on the TV, as the crowd count down.

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2015 flashes across the scene. I roll over to face the wall away from the TV. This is the year, I’ll do it, make everyone pay, I’m crazy yes but I’m not a murderer and the whole world will see why.

 

Oh wow! What will happen next?? Charlotte obviously has a score to settle with someone. But who? Find out in the next flash fiction preview!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Word Writing Prompt: Exposure

Exposure

One day late, yesterday’s WordPress writing prompt, this word sparked off a poem about exposing the truth. I wonder what the big secret is?

 

Eventually the truth will come out, it always does. I know your secret. So it should be no surprise when I  expose how the story really goes.

marks the spot, I know what happened there. And for the truth you all must 

Prepare. X marks the spot.

Over there, where the grass is now almost bare.

Sunken in. The x marks a spot of sin.

Under the tree, 

Reveals the spot in which he met his fate. I watched it all, one evening while sat quietly on the wall. The time has come, I know what you’ve done. I think I’ll make that phone call and be prepared to reveal all. 

Exposure, also means closure. I’m re-writing the end of the story, or should I say his story. So  you better get prepared because the truth I’m about to bare. You don’t know that I know, so for me  your dirty little secret will be my pleasure to expose. Then watch you run and hide, then rack your brain wondering how and why  the truth you could not hide.

Write 16 Chapters in 8 Weeks Can I do It?- Meeting Publisher’s Deadlines #amwriting #romance #thriller #2017

Clock

 

By now you all know about the romantic thriller I’ve had in mind for the last year, well I’m working on it full time now.  I have agreed to submit the full manuscript to a new publisher for January 2017! They have seen the first three chapters and want more :). Silly me, I’ve not got very far  as I’ve been too busy working on the final for Not Just for Christmas (done),and my short story for the charity book Code Red (done).

When I sent out my work on query to two publishers, I never expected to hear back so soon from either of them. Now, I need to write write write! It’s a good thing the month of November is the month of Nanowrimo – writers try to pen 50,000 words- in a month. Personally I’ve never tried but here goes. I’m on it now I am free to focus on it. The goal for Nanowrimo for me  is two chapters per week, from next week for the next eight weeks. That will leave the month of January, for editing and proof reading and submission. I’m so looking forward to writing this story  to share with you all, if all goes well once the publisher has seen the full story. 

Wish me luck! And have a great week.

100 +Short Story Writing Prompts- Release The Writer in You. #amwriting

As the autumn days draw in I’ll spend less time outside, and more time inside writing. It’s a chilly day today in London, I will not be at the pool for our usual Sunday swimming fun. We’ll spend the day in pyjamas instead.

Are you looking for inspiration to write? I  just stumbled across these great little websites, with  writing prompts! I have books with writing prompts, but I feel like trying something new. A little research and hey presto. Here are a few sites I found, what you’ll find are a mixture of situations or the start of a story (prompt) to continue writing :

100 short story ideas

More short story ideas

Twenty-Five creative writing ideas

This one generates random one line prompts click here.

 Release the writer in you-I look forward to reading some of your short stories in my news feed.

 

NEW YEAR, NEW CHAPTER_ 20 Quotes About Life, Creativity and Travel ___

Writing Prompt: A Tiny Story- Crime Thrill & Suspense! #amwriting

Gabriel clenched his teeth feeling the porcelain slide. He took a deep breath, relaxed his jaw. “You have two choices,” he said, “you can leave on your feet or on a gurney…” (Continue to write about who Gabriel is and who he is talking to.)Female-Private-Investigators-Eliza-0614333632_1

Gabriel looks Sanchez in the eye he waits for his response. He is losing his patience with this no good snitch. Gabriel pulls back the trigger on his gun and steps forward, pushing his face in front of Sanchez. The two men square up. At six-foot-two, Gabriel towers over Sanchez’s five-foot-ten height.

“I’ll say it one more time for you Sanchez, just in case you never heard me correct.”

“Who the f*ck ratted out on me? If it wasn’t you then who?”

Placing the gun to the right- hand side of Sanchez’s temple, he continues.

“You can leave on your feet, or on a gurney Sanchez. Now who the f*ck—“

“All right, all right, like I said it wasn’t me Gabriel, you know I’d never do that”

“Keep talking Sanchez.”

“I was over at the bar yesterday, I heard whispers that Don wants to settle an old score with you.”

“What bar?”

“The Nag’s Head— Over in Camden Town.”

“So you’re saying Don O’Conner ratted me out to the poe-poe, as he has an old score to settle—right?”

“Right, it could have been him.”

Gabriel lowers his gun and takes a step back from Sanchez. He looks him up and down. A fully-grown man tied up to a wooden post in the centre of a south London warehouse. He can’t help but laugh at the sight of Sanchez in nothing but his underpants. He circles him, like a lion about to pounce. Racking his brain over what score Don would want to settle. Then again, Gabriel North has a reputation as one of the most feared men in London, he has made plenty enemies.  He hails originally from Birmingham in the midlands, but moved south after he realised the streets of London really can be paved with gold— the black market is booming down south in London.

 “Now why would Don want to rat me out to the police Sanchez?

“He got wind of the deal you made with Joe, from what I heard Don wanted to get in there first— take over that area of London to distribute his goods to.”

Gabriel pauses to take in what Sanchez has said. He has a point, the deal he made with Joe in reality is an invasion on Don’s patch.

 “You better not be lying to me Sanchez?”

Gabriel, pokes Sanchez in the chest  with his gun to punctuate his question.

“No sir, that’s what I heard”

“All right, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. I want you to head over to the Nag’s Head and find out what else Don’s up to.”

“You want me to inform on him?”

“Yes, and you better be worth the time I’m giving you to do it—I want answers and fast”

Gabriel nods to his henchmen in corner of the dark warehouse, as a signal to un-tie Sanchez. At least he has a starting point. He now knows who ratted him out to the poe-poe.

His next move is to find out exactly what it will take  for Don O’Connor to retract his statement to the police. Be it money, a threat to him and his family or worse death, Gabriel doesn’t care. Don will be the next visitor to his warehouse, as soon as Sanchez informs him of exactly what Don is up to.

 

To be continued! I actually have to stop writing ( sigh)  the phone rang-I have visitors on the way to see us today. So I guess I better start the housework and change out of my pyjamas. I’ll be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt: Unfinished Business…

Unfinished

Write a post for today’s WordPress one word writing prompt unfinished.

By nature I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, I like to do things just so if it means a lot to me, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I have completed something  I’m not a fan of  unfinished business. The most recent thing I’ve left unfinished for much longer than I would have liked, is a story I’ve had rolling around in between my ears since October 2015. One full year! But what I’ve learned is that sometimes it is best to have unfinished business, as when you go back to finish up – things can be a lot more better.

Since I completed all writing and edits for A Stranger in France, and finally got to release day   in between that and  waiting for my second book to come back from the editor, I’ve gone back to the drawing board on this unfinished story. Six things happened when I read what I wrote a year ago through….

  1. Shock, it was terrible! All over the place in terms of presentation, layout, and I was not a fan of how the characters/ story came across. My (tiny) experience  from writing two other books kicked in.
  2. I re- drafted on paper the story ,about four times before I settled with what I have now!
  3. I re-wrote the first 4 chapters ( not from scratch) but I removed a good chunk 
  4. I managed to take the story in a new suspenseful/mystery  direction then I originally had done.
  5. I wrote and edited the first three chapters, once happy I sent it off ( last weekend ) to my publisher for feedback, with the full book synopsis.
  6. I feel now much more happier.

So I guess unfinished business in some cases can be a blessing if you’re a writer or  hope to have some of your work published some day, you can go off learn something from another project, then come back stronger,  and finish up in a more happier place. 

I hope I do get some positive feedback, even if I don’t I will still write the story for my own satisfaction  to not have unfinished business! 

What unfinished business have you got? WHY have you not finished it? What is your plan to have it complete?