I think it’s safe to say most people will be glad to see the back of 2016. It was a mixed year for me, but I definitely learned a lot. I became a self-published author! 2016 was a looong year. I had to check that Vision in Love only came out last year because it feels like a lifetime ago.
Last year I wrote my first author interview. Hopefully, I’ll be doing more of that this year. And I learned that I suck at marketing. Oh well, my first goal for 2017! I moved, again, back up to Lancashire this time.
And I published three books:
What’s coming in 2017?
My first book of the year is due for release in five days (excerpt at the end)
I’ve plotted out a new series set in the Lake District. So far I have three books and a novella planned, but hey who knows what will happen this year.
Last but not least, a big thank you to all my readers in 2016 who made my dream a possibility. I met some wonderful people last year and made some great writing friends. Here’s hoping 2017 is even better!
Excerpt from Chapter One
There comes a time in every girl’s life when she has to take a stand for what she believes in, for the man in her life. I truly believed that, so I couldn’t sit there any longer listening to the lies spewing from Amy’s mouth.
Amy gave women a bad name, fluttering her eyelashes and flashing her cleavage to get what she wanted. Just like she was doing to our boss, Alex, right then.
“No,” I said. I stood so quickly my chair toppled over, ensuring I had everyone’s attention. Thrusting a finger in Amy’s direction, I carried on. “Just … no. Dan’s only been here for a week, so you can’t blame him for why the release date might be missed. You’ll be blaming Toby next just because they started on the same day.”
I grabbed the spreadsheets off the desk and thrust them in Alex’s face. “Every single outstanding issue with this version of software is one that she is supposed to be testing. But she’s been too busy flirting and flashing her cleavage at Dan this week to actually do any work. Instead, she’s been strutting around the office in that belt she wears as an excuse for a skirt—”
“Enough,” Alex shouted.
I shrank back from where he was standing next to me. That was the first time I’d heard Alex shout or lose his air of control.
He grabbed the spreadsheets from my hand. “I’ll go through these and we will discuss”—he twirled a finger in the air—“this when everyone has calmed down.”
I turned to pick up my chair and sank into it. Before I could say anything else to make the situation worse, I pulled my lip beneath my top teeth. I leaned over the desk and let my fringe, along with the longer strands of hair that had fallen loose from my ponytail, fall forward over my face. The only sound in the room was the shuffle of papers before Alex spoke again.
“I don’t think there’s any point continuing with this meeting, so let’s call it a day. I’d like an update from each of you on what you have outstanding and what you need to complete that before the deadline. After today, I think it might be best if you do that by email.”
Alex stalked off behind me and left the meeting room. I quickly gathered together the rest of my files and made my escape, back to the relative safety of my desk. Dumping the files into the tray, I sank into my chair and dropped my head to the desk, the fake wooden veneer cold against my forehead. What was I thinking? I banged my head softly against the desk.
It might be the right thing to do, to take a stand for what I believed in, but the middle of a meeting probably wasn’t the best time to make that stand. Especially not over a man who wasn’t even mine to defend. Wishing that he was mine had nothing to do with my actions. Absolutely nothing.
My computer dinged with an alert. I lifted my head and jabbed a finger against the mouse to wake the screen.
A meeting request. From Alex.
I didn’t need to be Einstein to figure out what the meeting would be about.
I moved the mouse over the accept button. Did I have any other option? It said request, but I was pretty sure that declining would be unacceptable. I clicked and the request disappeared.
Along with my dreams of a promotion.
My gaze flicked to the corner of the screen. Quarter to five. I closed my email and shut down the computer. If I left fifteen minutes early, it was unlikely to make things any worse for me.
As I waited for my computer to shut down, I stood and saw Amy heading my way. My heartbeat picked up; that meeting was more than enough confrontation for one day, but I didn’t think that would stop Amy.
She looked me over as she came to a stop much too close for my liking, and I leaned back from her. Her mouth twisted into a sneer as though I smelled like something unpleasant she had trodden in.
“Yeah, you should leave. If you ever talk shit about me like that in front of Alex again, I swear I will make your life hell. You think you can swan around here like you’re my boss?”
She let out a snort as her gaze dropped to my chest.
“Let’s face it, you’re only jealous. If you actually had cleavage to flash, you wouldn’t be hiding it under that excuse for a shirt even my gran wouldn’t be seen dead in.”
My face flushed because she was right. About me not having cleavage, anyway. Even if I had, I still wouldn’t flash it around the way she did.
Amy was everything I would never be. Long blonde hair with the perfected shampoo advertisement flick of it over her shoulder, legs that went on for miles and boobs men drooled over. She leaned in towards me.
“You walk around the office with your mousy brown hair scraped back in your uptight ponytail, thinking you’re better than everyone else. Trying to suck everyone in with those baby blue eyes as though you’re so bloody innocent. But if you think for one minute that you stand any chance with Dan, then you’re seriously mistaken. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay out of my way.”
She spun on her heel, blonde strands of hair whipping across my cheek as she stalked off to her desk. I slumped against the back of my chair and dragged in a deep breath. She was right. Again. Why would Dan be interested in me? I wasn’t tall and curvy like Amy. It wasn’t like I even had a sparkling personality to fall back on. Most of the time, I was either at a loss for words or rambled incoherently. And while I didn’t believe Amy was a master of conversation or wit, at least she had other attributes which more than made up for that.