Kelly Florentia

 

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Welcome to my blog

 

I'm an author of contemporary women's fiction. I love to chat about books, writing and daily, topical issues.

 

 

 

By Kelly Florentia, Aug 21 2017 02:50PM

1. Favourite drink? Ah, we’ve started off with my favourite question. I usually drink dry white wine, especially when I’m out with my friends Tina and Louise. But I’d say champagne is my favourite. We all love a glass or three of Veuve Clicquot.


2. Last film you saw? I’m not much of a film lover but Nick, my ex, was a bit of a fanatic. His idea of fun was a Saturday night in with a takeaway, a few beers and something on Netflix. I think the last film I saw was with him. A thriller. Can’t remember what it was called now…erm…the book that was made into a film. Nicole Kidman was in it, I like her. Before I Go to Sleep. It was pretty good.


3. Favourite food? Does M&S heated up food count? I’m not the best cook in the world. I’ve got Pizza Hut delivery on speed dial.


4. Last T.V. show you watched? Corrie. I’m a big fan. I never miss an episode and always record it if I’m out.


5. Favourite colour? Red! It’s vibrant and passionate and daring.


6. Are you in love? I’m not answering that!


7. Last CD you listened to? Divide by Ed Sheeran. Went to see him live with Louise at Wembley. Jess, her daughter, wrangled two tickets for us from someone she knows from Uni. They weren’t cheap but definitely worth every penny. Ed reminds me a bit of Ronan, actually, Nick’s cousin and Tina’s ex. I don’t know why because he doesn’t really look like him. Maybe it’s the red hair and cheeky grin.


8. Favourite time of day? Definitely not a morning person and can be a bit grouchy first thing. I tend to perk up early afternoon, which is the best time to contact me if you want anything doing. I’m a night owl, often staying up way past midnight, even on a weekday when I know I’ve got to be up for work at 6.


9. Last country you visited? Cyprus. My parents love it there and rent a flat for weeks on end. I stayed with them recently. I wouldn’t say it was a holiday exactly. In fact, the less said about that trip the better.


10. Favourite item of clothing? Do shoes count? I’ve got over two hundred pairs and my collection is growing. I’m a shoeaholic, and have been known to spend an entire weeks’ salary on a pair. Designer, obvs.


11. If you could own any car in the world, what would it be? I drive a VW Golf. I’m not crazy about cars, just as long as it’s reliable and gets me from A to B. But if money were no object then I think I’d go for one of the classics – a Mercedes 500 SL convertible would look pretty cool parked outside my flat on Dukes Avenue, Muswell Hill. In red!


NOW WAY BACK publishes on 21st September 2017. You can pre-order a copy here.


Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she's not sure she's ready for. Audrey's life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that's left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision - follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it's the people that we love who can hurt us the most.



By Kelly Florentia, Jul 24 2017 09:00PM

Many people ask me where I get my inspiration from when I’m writing my novels. Inspiration comes in many forms, but personally I find listening to music while I’m out running a great source, especially on lovely warm, sunny days. But even when I’m pounding away on the treadmill at the gym (okay, huffing and puffing as close to the air-con vent as possible), I’m always listening to music and often thinking about my WIP - the protagonist, the cast, the chapter I’m working on. Some of these melodies help me to create a vivid picture in my mind about the characters and their lives, the scenes, the highs and the lows, the cliff-hangers. Yes, music is a very powerful source.


With this in mind, I decided to create a compilation on Spotify of some of the songs that represent my second novel, NO WAY BACK. Several of the tracks on this collection are songs that I listened to while I was working on the book, some of which moved me to the core. In fact, two of them made me cry. They still do! A few of the tracks are mentioned in the story, such as Dancing Queen by Abba and Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. And some simply embody the story in a way that takes the characters and their lives beyond the pages of the book.


I’m sure you’ve guessed why Red High Heels by Kellie Pickler is on the playlist just by looking at the cover, and the blurb might explain why Want You Back by HAIM is on there, too. But you might be baffled by the inclusion of Zorba the Greek. I won’t spoil it for you but the story starts in Cyprus, and when you read the first chapter you’ll realise why this particular track is so significant to the story and why it has centre stage on my playlist.


So, without further ado, here's NO WAY BACK, the book soundtrack. You can listen to it on Spotify for free but you will have an ad popping up every half hour, and you can’t download this or any other playlist onto your phone or computer unless you’re a paying subscriber.


I hope you enjoy the songs on my literature inspired playlist and that they give you an insight into the story and the characters in my novel.


No Way Back is now available to pre-order on Kindle and Paperback


By Kelly Florentia, Jul 23 2017 09:43AM

My Review: I absolutely loved it! 5 stars


When Lily Denham meets best pals Max Farley and Harry Gale at Oxford uni, romance blossoms. But who will win the love of the red queen?


I absolutely loved this exciting tale about love, friendship, mistakes and choices. I found the cast of characters very real and engaging; so much so that they had me up way past my bedtime most nights because I was dying to find out what happened to them next!


Starting in the 60s, the author skilfully moves the story through the decades and into the 90s, weaving in some twists and surprises. I loved the time span in this novel. It was wonderful to see how the characters evolved and what fate had in store for them. A happy ending? You’ll have to read it to find out.


A beautifully written story that I couldn’t put down!


The blurb to whet your appetite:


Will loving two men tear your heart apart?

It’s the 1960s and Lily Denham is about to begin her studies at Oxford University.

On her first day she meets Harry Gale and Max Farley, two fellow undergraduates who are both full of mischievous charm. The three of them become firm great friends and enjoy exploring everything Oxford has to offer, from riotous parties to punting up the river on sunny afternoons.

However, something threatens to disrupt the fun, because Lily soon realises she’s falling for both of her new-found friends, men who might offer her two very different futures – but who will she pick? Harry is generous and kind, reliable and trustworthy. Max embodies the spirit of the sixties; adventurous and rebellious, but possibly a little bit dangerous as well.

As university ends and Lily struggles to make her mark on the vibrant fashion scene, she must make a decision. But she soon becomes aware that the wrong decision could have devastating consequences for her own future and for Max’s and Harry’s futures, too …


You can download Girl in Red Velvet by Margaret James from Amazon

By Kelly Florentia, Jul 10 2017 07:52AM

Here's something to cheer you up on a Monday!




‘People keep slagging me off,’ said Monday.


‘Why,’ asked Tuesday, rousing from sleep.


‘Do you really need to ask?’ smirked Wednesday.


‘Oh, shut up, Wednesday,’ hissed Thursday, ‘people usually have the hump with you.’


‘None taken,’ hit back Wednesday, ‘At least I’m balanced.’


‘If only you could inject yourselves with a bit of me,’ boasted Friday, ‘and give them all that feeling.’


‘Oh, get lost, Friday,’ barked Saturday, ‘you’ve got no stamina. At least Monday has a few Bank Holidays.’


‘Days, days,’ Sunday soothed, ‘You’re all awesome and full of possibilities and adventure.’


‘I didn’t think of that,’ chirped Monday. ‘Weekend, you’re a genius. Let’s go and get hammered.’


By Kelly Florentia, May 8 2017 03:33PM

On the bus the other day, a pregnant lady sat opposite me with her little girl - about four-years-old, blonde hair tumbling over her narrow shoulders, blues eyes, incredibly cute. Her legs dangled over the seat, feet almost touching my legs.


“We used to go to that park,” she announced suddenly, pointing out of the window. “The one with the brown gate.”


“Yes,” Mum replied, smiling, “Highgate Woods, and we’ll go there again when the weather warms up.”


“Yes,” said the girl, “Highgate Woods.”


She gazed out of the window for a few moments, swinging her little legs over the seat, then took a sip of water, ate a few gummy bears that her mum handed. It wasn’t long before her pink canvas shoes collided with my knees. She looked at me, eyes wide, clinging to her mother. “I kicked that lady with my feet,” she said warily. Mum looked at me, apologised, and I smiled warmly, said it was okay.


“The lady knows. It’s okay,” she told her.


The little girl studied me for a while, chewing on a gummy bear, then said, “Mummy, I think you’ve got bigger feet than the lady.”


Of course, I glanced down at mum’s feet, I think we all did, and yes, mum’s feet were considerably larger than mine. But I’m not sure she wanted to share this information with the entire bus.


“Yes,” Mum said dryly, “I think I have.”


And I smiled again because in that instant I recognised that little girl. She’s Lily from my second novel NO WAY BACK (Urbane Publications, September 21st, 2017). I took snapshots of her with my eyes and brought her to the forefront of my mind whenever I wrote a scene about her. And that’s how I create some of my secondary characters.


You can pre-order NO WAY BACK from Amazon or directly from Urbane Publications (free UK shipping)


By Kelly Florentia, Apr 23 2017 05:00AM

I'm thrilled to welcome back onto my blog today the lovely Amanda James. Amanda's latest novel, Behind the Lie, has just been released and I can't wait to read it!


Thank you, Kelly, and thanks for inviting me to your blog to answer six questions about my favourite things.


Favourite place to write?


In bed. I don't get backache as much as do when hunched over the keyboard at a desk.


Plotter or a panster?


A huge panster! I have an idea of where the story is going and the main characters, but that is about it. Oh, and the end is normally there somewhere-ish.


Favourite book read recently?


I am halfway through an intriguing story by Alice Feeney called Sometimes I Lie. I haven't decided exactly what is happening yet, which is unusual for me. I love not knowing and trying to guess what the outcome will be. That's why I like writing suspense too.


Favourite drink?


I do love a nice cuppa. I have been known to have the odd drop of Merlot too. I prefer red to white unless it is Prosecco or Champagne :)


Favourite savoury or sweet food?


Definitely savoury. I don't really get this obsession with chocolate and cake. Don't get me wrong, both can be delightful, but I am much more of a savoury person. Curry, spicy stuff and the like.... and cheese. Cheese is my cake. Oh wait, cheese and cake go well together...I wonder if a cheesecake has been invented yet?


Favourite film?


Now, this is very tricky. I love so many, but a special favourite is Stand by Me. It's set in the 1950s and about the early life of Stephen King. It's just so evocative of childhood, full of adventure, hope and endless summer days.

On the spot favourites:


Morning or evening person? Morning.


Season: Spring.


Dogs or Cats? Cats.


If you could own any car in the world, what would it be? Probably a silver vintage Rolls Royce with red leather interior. Or perhaps a black Lamborghini with one of those doors that open on the side and go up in the air...or maybe a Harley Davidson motorbike instead!


Fave type of music? Again, I like lots of different stuff. I adore Coldplay and saw them last year at Wembley, so I will say them.


Seaside or countryside? Seaside!


Holiday destination? Probably California and the deserts of Utah/Arizona.


Here's the blurb to whet your appetite!


Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?


Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.


Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.


Thank you so much for dropping by today, Mandy, it’s been lovely chatting to you.


You can buy Amanda James’ new novel Behind the Lie from Amazon and other online retailers.



Find out more about Amanda James at:


Blog: Mandy's Musings


Facebook: Mandy James Author


Twitter: @akjames61


By Kelly Florentia, Feb 27 2017 07:15PM

I'm delighted to welcome back onto my blog today the lovely Jennifer Bohnet.


Thank you Kelly for inviting me onto your blog to answer six questions about my favourite things.



Favourite place to write:


Currently I write in my office cum spare room which my husband converted for me from a store room at the back of our cottage. Before I wrote upstairs in the attic with very little space around me - now I’ve got shelves, a proper desk (usually with a cat or two sprawled across it) and space. And guess what, I miss that tiny attic space!


Favourite drink?


Living in France it has to be champagne. Although a nice cold glass of pinot gris at lunchtime never goes amiss. A gin and tonic evening aperitif always goes down well too.

During the day I tend to mainline black coffee in preference to tea.


Favourite Place


I’ve got two actually - Dartmouth in South Devon and Antibes on the French Riviera. I’ve lived in both and would return in a heartbeat to either of them - sadly everybody wants to live there too and property in both towns is too expensive to even dream about returning.

Both places inspire my writing.



Favourite book read recently?


I’m a fast reader and read a lot, 3 - 5 books a week usually. A recent book that I loved was Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop. I’m currently reading the latest Katie Fforde, A Summer By the Sea.



Favourite savoury or sweet food?


My favourite savoury food has to be maigret of duck - with lots of caramelised onions to go with it. Sadly for my waistline I veer more to desserts than I do to main courses! My absolute favourite is Tiramsu - if it's on the menu when eating out I always have it. Or pavlova. Or crème brulée. If friends drop in for afternoon tea I usually give them scones, jam and cream - sadly not a proper Devonshire cream tea as I can’t buy clotted cream over here. I once saw a sticker on a friend’s fridge, ‘Life is short - eat dessert first’. That just about sums up my attitude to food.



Favourite film?


Paperback Hero, one of Hugh Jackman’s early films was favourite for a long time, before being overlooked in favour of A Good Year with Russell Crowe but Midnight in Paris currently holds the top spot. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched than one on dvd. You’ve probably gathered I’m into feel good, non-violent, films. Currently looking forward to the dvd of La La Land coming out because I love jazz.


On the spot favourites:


Morning or evening person: Morning


Season: Spring


Dogs or Cats? Both. Currently have a collie and two cats


Pop or Classical music: Jazz


Seaside or countryside? I miss the sea now I live inland


Holiday destination? South of France


Thank you so much for dropping by today, Jennie, and answering these questions for me.


You can buy Jennifer Bohnet's new novel Rosie's Little Cafe on the Riviera from Amazon and other online retailers. The paperback is also available in Sainsbury's.


Here's the blurb to whet your appetite!


A summer of taking chances!


Rose Hewitt's dream of opening a little French café on the Riviera is finally coming true. She's giving up on love and instead chasing her own perfect recipe for happiness...


Only, she never expected the oh-so-sexy, award-winning chef, Sebastian Groc, to set up a rival restaurant next door - or for his freshly-baked croissants to smell quite so delicious.


But with just a few days until she opens her doors and all her sugar-coated dreams crumble around her, Rosie isn't prepared to give up without a fight.


Competition time!


Win a signed copy of Rosie's Little Cafe on the Riviera PLUS a delicious slice of cake from The Lazy Cow Cake Company to enjoy as you read. Mmmm.. Yum! Both delivered straight through your letterbox.


There are two ways to enter, either leave a comment below or go on Twitter and RT the pinned tweet on my timeline to be in with a chance to win this fantastic prize. Competition closes on 01st of March at midnight. A winner will be chosen on the 2nd of March 2017. UK entries only. Good luck!


Find out more about Jennifer Bohnet at:


Webiste: Jennifer Bohnet


Facebook: Jennifer Bohnet Author


Twitter: @jenniewriter


By Kelly Florentia, Jan 6 2017 12:09PM

Some of you may know from my social media posts that I’m rather partial to a smoothie or two, particularly the ones of the green variety. You may have even seen several of my concoctions on Instagram or Twitter. I love being creative with my smoothies and have lots and lots of homemade recipes, some on scraps of paper, others flying around in my head.


When I first started making smoothies, my husband would often pad into the kitchen, coffee cup in hand and taunt me. ‘What’s in it this time?’ he’d say, peering over my shoulder. ‘Eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat.’ I must admit, it was a bit of a hit and miss in the early days and I did create a couple of unsavoury blends. However, I’ve become quite a connoisseur over the last two years and can now produce some great tasting, healthy drinks. Okay, I know that some people can’t bear the thought of drinking anything that’s green but I also believe in the saying, ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.’ It’s necking one of these lovely concoctions every morning that fuels me with energy and sets me up for the day.


So, what’s in these drinks that are turning me into superwoman? (Okay, that’s a lie, a slight exaggeration). Well, it largely depends on my plans. If I’m going for a 10k run or need extra energy then I’ll drink 300ml of a banana and flaxseed based smoothie, on other days I opt for a green one with a kale, spinach or broccoli base. One of these drinks provides a host of nutrients and fibre, which I probably wouldn’t get from scoffing a buttery croissant or an iced bun for breakfast, though I’d love to, of course. And I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I drink one I feel almost instantly rejuvenated and bustle around the house with a spring in my step. It’s probably because I know I’ve consumed something healthy and nutritious.


Speaking of nutrition, in a nutshell, a smoothie will provide:


Vitamins (a host plus lots of C which is excellent for iron absorption and boosts immune)


Minerals (bananas are high in potassium, an electrolyte which is good for muscle cramps and helps regulate blood pressure)


Fibre (keeps your gut in tip-top condition)


Phytonutrients (plant compounds, many of which are said to act as antioxidants)


Hydration (if using coconut water or filtered water to dilute)


I usually drink a smoothie for breakfast and store the rest in the fridge for the next day but sometimes, if I’m in a hurry or if I’m on a diet (almost always) I’ll have the rest for lunch! You don’t need an expensive smoothie maker to create your blends of magic (although you can if you want to!) I use a simple Breville (the one in the picture at the top of this post) and it produces gorgeous results.


What I get out of drinking smoothies:


Bags of energy


Fewer colds, or at least I’ve dealt with them swiftly and with a lot more control


Brighter skin


Shinier hair


Improved digestion


An easy way to add healthy seeds to my diet (you can also add protein)



Weight loss


One of my five-a-day (only one 150ml glass counts)


With regards to getting one of your five-a-day, the government’s advice is that only one 150ml glass will count towards one of your five-a-day, so you can’t just plonk five fruits and veggies into a glass and be done with it. This is because of the sugars that are released when they hit the blade! This said, smoothies do have the advantage over other sugary drinks in that they provide you with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Whilst I’m not suggesting for one moment that you exceed the recommended consumption, personally, if it’s a choice between a glass of fizzy drink or another smoothie, I’d go for the smoothie! Unless it’s champagne!


Smooth Operator (20 delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes) is available to download from amazon.


By Kelly Florentia, Sep 21 2016 11:14AM

The doorbell rang. “I'll get it,” I said, wiping my hands on a tea towel. An elderly lady stood before me in a red coat and a beret. She asked me if Mrs B was in, and I explained that I didn't know a Mrs B, that we were the new owners.


“Oh.” She looked stunned. 'Have they moved? Her eyes flitted towards the window. “Their curtains are still up, so I thought......” She trailed off. “Well, they might've told me they were moving. She IS my sister,” she complained, drawing her black bag closer to her chest and pursing her lips. And I agreed, concerned. How could her sister jut take off without telling her? Maybe they'd had a fallout. Sibling rivalry is common. I told her the curtains were only temporary. We were decorating, hadn't moved in yet.


Half an hour later there was another knock at the door. I saw her red coat and mop of white hair sprouting beneath her beret through the obscure glass. “Hello, is Mrs B in?”


Two years later, the doorbell rang. Mary asked me if her sister was in, even though we'd changed the curtains. We talked about her sister selling up and moving, even though I knew her sister had died 20 years ago.


“Do you want me to walk you home, Mary?”


“Yes, please,” she smiled, a little embarrassed. “I've forgotten where I Iive.”


And I walked her to her house up the road, told her to stay in, said it was getting dark now, and she promised that she would.


I walked her home about two or three times a week. Then one day she stopped coming. But I still think of her whenever I walk past her house and smile.


You can find out more about Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, including ways of how you can help, by visitng Alzheimer's Society



By Kelly Florentia, May 7 2016 05:39PM

Here's a short extract from my debut novel The Magic Touch. Hope you enjoy it.


Is Harry having an affair, or is it all in Emma's head?


‘They’re in the garden,’ Caroline calls out from the sink. ‘Mas is having a sneaky fag.’ She stares out of the window. I didn’t think Mas had arrived yet. Caroline said he had some paperwork to do. ‘Thinks he can sneak in from the side entrance and hide behind the shed without me seeing him, the rat.’

Demi and I peer over her shoulder, she clutching her mobile phone and I all the cutlery, inhaling an infusion of Caroline’s spicy perfume and the aroma of kleftiko, which is resting in a pan on the cooling rack next to the sink. Harry is leaning against the shed, Mas semi-hiding behind him in a cloud of smoke. I wonder what they’re talking about.

‘I’ll go and ask him.’ Demi makes for the kitchen door.

‘No, wait.’ I hand her the cutlery. ‘You finish laying the table. I’ll go.’ She snatches the knives and forks from my hand and disappears around the door, all the while ranting on about her mother’s inadequacies.

I dodge the overgrown trees as I make my way towards the rear of the hundred-and-fifty-foot garden. They’re so engrossed in conversation, they don’t see me approaching from behind the fig tree.

‘Yes, but you know what she’s like,’ Harry sighs. ‘What will I do if …’

‘Just relax, Harry, yeah? It’s going to be fine. Why do you worry so much?’ Harry’s staring at his feet worriedly, hands on hips.

‘Stop stressing, for ****'* sake.’ Mas grabs Harry’s shoulder firmly, reassuringly. ‘It’ll be fine. I promise. I’ll look after you. OK?’ Silence. ‘OK!’ Harry covers his brother’s hand with his and nods.

‘What will be fine?’ I ask brightly, appearing from behind the fig tree like an apparition, arms folded.

Harry and Mas exchange a quick, sharp glance. ‘Nothing, babe,’ Harry takes a step towards me, his smile not quite reaching his eyes.

‘It’s just about work.’ He pulls me into the warmth of his arms.

‘Loves young dream,’ Mas says with a good dollop of sarcasm as Harry wraps his arm around my shoulders and drops a kiss on my head.

‘Really?’ I raise my eyebrows quizzically, stiff in Harry’s embrace. ‘Only it sounded quite serious to me.’

‘That’s because you’re a woman.’ Mas stamps out his cigarette with the sole of his brown cowboy boot, blowing smoke from his mouth, his nose. I narrow my eyes at him. ‘You women always misconstrue everything.’ I look at him expectantly. He’s not going to get away with it that easily and he knows it. ‘Calm down, Emma, will you? We’ve got Environmental Health coming in next week, that’s all.’ He scratches his bristly cheek then pushes back his greying, long, greasy hair with one swoop of his large hand. ‘They’re always meticulous, you know that. Remember what happened the last time we had them round.’ I do – he had to close the restaurant to carry out the repairs. We felt the ache in our pockets and that was only for a week.

Mas laughs, giving Harry a playful punch on the arm. ‘Harry’s got the heebie-jeebies over it, thinks they’ll stitch us up.’

‘Stitch you up how?’ I chew the inside of my lip, my eyes not leaving Mas.

‘Nit-pick.’ Our eyes lock as he readjusts the collar of his denim jacket. ‘Make us spend thousands on repairs.’

‘And?’ I ask confrontationally, wrapping my cardigan around me tightly, blocking out the cold wind that’s been dancing on my bare chest. I knew I should’ve worn my sweater instead of this flimsy, drape-neck top. What was I thinking? Harry, clearly sensing that we’re about to lock horns, jumps into diffuse the tension.

If Mas has to lay off staff to cover costs we might lose our jobs, babe. And then where would we be? How would we pay the mortgage?’ I twist my lips as my eyes flit between them. Losing our jobs at the restaurant doesn’t bear thinking about. But they’re lying. I’m sure of it.

‘I’ve told him not to be so stupid,’ Mas cuts in quickly, ‘he won’t lose his job, no matter what. Family comes first. Ain’t that right, bro?’ He pulls Harry from me and into his arms, and they hug like a scene from The Godfather. Then before I can question them further Demi appears at my side. Annoyed.

‘Emma!?’ I give her a puzzled look. ‘The charger?’

I forgot all about that. ‘Oh yes, sorry, Demi,’ I lay a hand on her arm, ‘we just got carried away.’

‘Well?’ She looks at Harry expectantly.

‘Well what?’

‘The charger? Did you bring it with you?’

As we walk towards the house, Mas engages me in conversation about the restaurant, boasting about how busy they are, how he’s thinking of taking on more staff if Harry can’t do the extra shifts, while Harry explains to a very disgruntled Demi that he left his charger at home.

‘Oh, Dad, can you go and fetch my charger for me?’

‘Sure, hun, but after lunch, yeah? I’m starving.’ Mas reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out his phone. ‘Here, you can borrow mine for now, it’s fully charged.’

‘Noooo, Dad, your Motorola screen is way too small,’ she retorts, making to walk off.

Harry snatches her by the arm. ‘Here, Dem.’ He unlocks his phone and my eyes twitch as Alistair’s Scrabble move BKDACODE dances before my eyes. ‘You can use mine.’ He grins, handing Demi his handset.

I hadn’t thought any more about breaking into Harry’s phone since Alistair’s brainwave last Tuesday. Particularly as Ola had managed to more or less convince me that a password is prudent, that everyone she knows has one, including John, and that I should stop being so negative and suspicious all the time and concentrate on the positives in my relationship instead of trying to destroy it. But the conversation I just overheard between Mas and Harry has set my mind ticking like a time bomb.

‘Oh, sick! Thanks, Uncle Harry. You’re a lifesaver.’ Harry puts his arm around her shoulders and she leans into him as Andreas appears at the door hollering that lunch is ready. I can’t believe how quickly that boy has grown. Just a few years ago I was taking him to the cinema, and now here he is – a six-foot man with a forty-inch chest, dark curls sweeping his shoulders, and a long beard, which Caroline tells me he softens with conditioner.

We all shuffle inside to the ruckus of Mas grabbing a hold of Caroline and planting a loud, sloppy kiss on her lips, Demi gagging at the sight of them and shouting ‘gross’, and Andreas and Harry chatting enthusiastically about Oxford. I follow behind them, arms folded, head down, wondering how long it will be before Demi tires of playing Candy Crush on Harry’s unlocked phone?


THE MAGIC TOUCH is available to download from Amazon for only 99p!







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