Come on in. Take a seat, make yourself comfortable and get to know me a little bit better.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Ball to Remember

Welcome back, and thanks for taking the time to stop by. 

This week I am joined by a very good friend of mine, Doris O’Connor, Author of A Ball To Remember in the current anthology by The Nut House Scribblers.

J.P. – Hi Doris, it’s great to have to you today. *Passes Doris a cup of Coffee.*

D.O’Connor. –*grabs coffee with both hands and inhales*

Hmm, yum, you do make the best coffee J

J.P. – It’s been a while but I remember just how you like it J

I want to talk a little bit about the current FREE read anthology With Love From Val and Tyne. In particular, Evie.  I love her!  She seems like such a down to earth girl who works hard to live and really deserves her dream come true.  How much fun did you have writing her story?

D.O’Connor – Oh I love Evie too. She was great fun to write. Evie is tough but vulnerable at the same time, and she's lived in her cousin's shadow all her life. It doesn't particularly bother her, but it rankles deep down inside. I think we all have a member of our family that goes on our wick for whatever reason, so channelling those feelings into Evie, was great fun. She is a lovely girl, and like you say, she so deserves her dream to come true.

J.P. – She is very easy to relate to and I sooooo know what you mean about some people rubbing you the wrong way lol.

Now, let’s not forget about Ethan.  Those, amber eyes and mischievous smile. I love the way his boy ish pranks still make up his personality in adulthood. Of the two characters, which one did you enjoy writing about the most, and why?

D.O’Connor – Hmm, yummy Ethan. Again he was great fun. He came to me with his entire backstory in my head, and he's led an interesting life I tell you. I couldn't explore all that in the short free read, but I may yet write the full Evie and Ethan story. They sure deserve to have their entire story told. To answer your question, I couldn't tell you who I enjoyed more. They were both instant strong voices in my head, and I just love when that happens because the story practically writes itself.

J.P. – An Evie and Ethan story J I hope they do find voices soon so you can write about them.

If you’re interested in reading the short stories With Love From Val and Tyne, It’s still available for FREE to download at:

I know you are a very busy lady.  What else have you been up to?
D.O’Connor – Ah you know me, always a hero sitting on my shoulder, lol. I just had a Paranormal Christmas Story accepted by Breathless Press that I am really quite excited about. I'm waiting to sign the contract before I share more news than that, but I just realised my hero in that story is called Ethan too, lol.
And the current hero sitting on my shoulder was trying to convince me that his name is Ethan, but after some negotiation ( I know I sound like a loon, here, but my characters are very real to me) I believe he has settled for Nathaniel—for now. This may yet change as this is very much a WIP.
I have three upcoming releases all in October in an ode to Halloween.
-Freaky Flashes which is an Anthology of 13 Sexy Halloween Quickies with Breathless Press
My contribution is Destiny: Can Arabella reach sanctuary, or will her dreams become reality?
-Just Vamps, an Anthology with Evernight Publishing
My story is Living The Dream: 
Everyone knows that happy ever afters only happen in fairy tales. Real life is cruel and painful. Bianca may wish for the two hunks in the shadows to notice her, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen—until Halloween that is.
When Sister Maria insists that Bernhard and Archie escort Bianca home, the events that follow can only have been a dream. The hottest sex she's ever had cannot account for the changes Bianca sees in the mirror. Vampires aren’t real, right?
-The Eclipse Of The Blood Moon, another Anthology with Evernight Publishing
Blurb: When the blood moon coincides with Halloween, the forces of darkness unite to wreak their evil spells. Will this All Hallows Eve bring joy or sorrow? Curses abound and destiny calls, as vampire meets human, devils atone to the moon, an angel takes human form to protect the gypsy girl he loves, shifters hunt their mate on land protected by a powerful white witch, and a black widow hunts her prey in human form.
Is love enough to break the cycle? Or is all lost under the orange glow of the menacing sphere in the sky?
My Current release is a bit of a departure for me—it's a f/f short story in Evernight's Lover Unexpected Anthology: Sappho Edition
My Story is called The Dating Game:
 Tirath and Rosie have been friends from kneehigh, so when Tirath's world crumbles around her, there is only one place she can go - into Rosie's comforting arms.
When comfort turns to passion, does it spell the end of their friendship?
Or is it the beginning of something quite beautiful?
You can see all my available books here: http://www.dorisoconnor.com/my-books.html
I love to hear from readers, so find me on the web here:
J.P. Wow, you have been busy! I wish you every success with the new realises Doris.  It’s been lovely catching up with you.
D.O’Conner - Thanks so much for having me J.P. J
J.P.  – That’s all we have time for this today guy’s. But Join me next week when I catch up with Cherie Nicholls.
Until then, take care.
J.P. Stevens

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Arya Grey – The Masquerade

Hello again, and thanks for stopping by.  Today I am joined by one of my writer buddies, Arya Grey, Author of The Masquerade featured as the first story in the Anthology With Love From Val and Tyne.

J.P. – Hi Arya, It’s so good to catch up.  How are you?

A.G. – Hiya! I'm doing just fine, thank you J Busy, busy, busy!

J.P. – That’s great to hear. What have you been up to?

A.G. – Well, I've been hard at work on a few different stories. I've just had a Halloween short accepted as part of an Anthology with Evernight Press. You might recognise some of the authors involved ;) "The Eclipse of the Blood Moon" will be out soon.

There is also the wonderful news of Val & Tyne! As a Birthday free-read for Breathless Press' Birthday it's a fantastic way to bring readers in. The Nuthouse Scribblers are a tight knit group so I think everyone will enjoy our combined effort. Or at least, we hope so!

I am notoriously bad at blogging, but you can find me here: www.aryagrey.blogspot.com and find updates on new work over at Twitter (@AryaGrey) and Facebook.

J.P. – Wow, you have been busy!  I’m looking forward to reading The Eclipse of the Blood Moon. So I will certainly keep checking your Facebook and twitter account for more details.  Now, About The Masquerade. A fictional story about having your wildest fantasies come true.  How much fun was that to write?

A.G. – Too much fun! Val & Tyne started as an experiment for our readers over at The Nuthouse Scribblers, a way to introduce ourselves and give back on that special holiday. The Masquerade literally wrote itself (as clichéd as that sounds). The words flew across the page. I almost didn't believe I had written it after reading back to myself.

J.P. – Do I dare ask where the inspiration came from?

A.G. – Dare…dare! J

I knew my masked strangers had to be tall, dark and daring. This was about the ultimate fantasy, after all! So, of course, only two of the best inspirations came to mind. And well, the rest came naturally.

J.P. – Do you have a favourite bit?

A.G. – When Lola arrives at the manor and the blond stranger is waiting for her. The solid black mask and his cool demeanour; sexy and completely mysterious, yet you can sense his personality underneath. Only to be swept in by the opposite but equally lustful, dark, warm, predatory stranger.

J.P. – Tough decision! But I know what happens. lol 

If that has got you curious, then you can read Lola’s story for Free.  Yep, it’s still free to download @

Arya, it's been great to catch up with you again.  Please come back and join us again soon.

A.G. - Thanks for having me, JP! Congrats on your first publication. We are so glad to have you.
J.P. - *Reaches for a tissue to wipe her leaking eye.* Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome and loved. :-) Well That’s all we have time for this week.  Join me again next Sunday, unless of course I’m blessed with the birth of my little miracle, where I will be joined by Doris O’Connor to discuss her story in the anthology, A Ball to Remember.

Until next time, take care.

J.P. Stevens.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Interview with Val and Tyne

Hello everyone thanks for taking the time to pop by.  Over the coming weeks I will be interviewing the Authors of the anthology With Love From Val And Tyne.  Where best to start this series of interviews than with the very men who made the fantasies of some very lucky ladies come true.  So please give a warm welcome to Val and Tyne.

J.P. - Hello guy’s, it’s lovely to meet you. How are you both?

V - Oh we're very happy.

T - And lucky.

V - Yeah, and lucky we have so much going on in our lives at the moment. 

T - To see all the successes we had over…well I won't go into too many details.

V - *laughing* as you might have guessed we talk too much.

T- Yeah, sorry *mimes a zip over his lips*

J.P. - I had no idea how infectious you guys are. *laughing* Now you guys are not your average kind of men, are you?  You have the ability to make fantasies come true?  Can you tell me about these magical powers?

V- We can't.

T- No sorry. If we talk about them we lose them.

V- All we can say, is we have the powers to make wishes come true, if we think they're er worthy?"

T - That sums it up perfectly.

J.P. - So what made you want to share this with the ladies you chose?

T - Each of them deserved a something extra in their lives. We were able to give them that.

V- It gave us so much to be able to do that.  

J.P. - *Goes weak in the knees at their response*. It’s so good to know there are still people out there willing to make other people’s dreams and fantasies come true. Without giving too much away, you two have your own little story in the book. Can you tell us a little about that?

T - Well let's just say, what goes around comes around.

J.P. - I can’t wait to find out! Though I have a feeling it will be special. Where do you both go from here, I mean, what does the future hold for you both?

 V - More of everything? We have a rather nice bale of silk, which would look great for a Christmas party.

T - Oh, yes it would. Apart from that, there's so many places I want to visit.

V- Shh… you have a birthday soon. Let me keep some secrets.

J.P. –I'm having to try not to laugh, because Tyne is now threatening to tickle Val to find out what he means. Okay, *claps hands* so you mean to say, watch this space because you could be making more dreams come true?

 T- Ha, ha, that would be telling. What do you want out of your dreams?

V- I know what I wa… sorry lips sealed. Let's say a cautious maybe.

T- Yes that sounds about right.

J.P. - Well I’ll make sure I keep my eyes open for any more dream making in the future. Val, Tyne, thank you so much for popping by today, it has been an absolute pleasure having you both here.  I wish you both lots of happiness for the future.

V - It was our pleasure.

T - By the way we have a lovely lilac linen that would suit you.

J.P. - *Nervously laughing, and then stop dead when I see the serious look in their eyes.* As tempted as I am in some ways, I’m afraid I’d be too much of a chicken to see it through.  Your talent would be wasted on me. Probably best to save it for someone who would make the most of such an opportunity.

V -You never know until you try.

T- Only you…and us know what's in your mind now. But don't worry, we won't tell.

J.P. - *Blushing and squirming in my seat as Val and Tyne pass me a wrapped package with a note on the top saying Dare you! *

The Anthology, With Love From Val and Tyne, was collectively written by The Nut House Scribblers.  The book is absolutely FREE and is available to download now at:

You can find out more about The Nut House Scribblers on their blog page:

As for Val and Tyne, you can find out more about The Val and Tyne Experiment during my interview with Raven McAllan in a few weeks’ time.

That’s all for this week.  Join me next week with Arya Grey when we go behind the scene of The Masquerade.

Until then, take care



Sunday, 5 August 2012

My first Publication

As a now published Author, you would think I have a way with words and can easily describe how I feel right now… Nope! Cloud nine doesn’t even come close!

To be honest I never really believed this day would ever come.  I love writing and as a writer I also love reading and a book has to grab me.  If it doesn’t, well you don’t waste your time do you?  You just delete the file from your kindle and move on to the next.  Or you read the blurb on the back of a book, if it fails to entice you, you put it back on the shelf. Reading a book is such a personal thing that the fear of rejection can be a little overwhelming as a writer.

Those of you who have been reading my blog will have seen my latest inspiration ‘On Writing’ by Steven King.  It was within this fantastic book that the courage to write really took hold of me.  I learnt that I cannot write for everyone, only myself.  People may not like what you write.  Hell, there are things that I have written, that my characters insist on, that I am not too pleased with.  I don’t have a say.  The more I try to control where they story goes, the less the characters talk.  The less they talk… Well the manuscript ends.

So taking in the advice I wrote down what the characters in my head were telling me to and here we are.  My first publication J

Of course I cannot take all the credit.  The book is an anthology with a list of other fantastic authors.  Each story brings its own tale about Valentines and the magic that can be found with love. Take a look at the cover:

It is silly that I don’t seem to tire of seeing my name written on the front cover, but hey I can get like that at times. J

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Take care until next time

J.P. Stevens


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Interview with Suzanne Fuller

It’s great to be back with yet another fantastic Author Suzanne Fuller.

 Welcome Suzanne, It’s lovely to meet you.

SF: Thanks for having me, it's lovely to be here.

How exciting is it to have your first Young Adult book released?

SF: Very exciting, and also terrifying! It's not a genre I ever saw myself writing in as there are so many restrictions, but when characters call, then you must obey. J

If you don’t mind, before we get on to discussing the book, I wanted to get to know you a little bit.

SF: Not at all. I'm a 26 year old Scottish author with an imagination that gives me no breaks!

Now, I heard that you were born in Scotland and also spent 10 years living in the State of Arizona, where you met your husband. Although you have both returned to Scotland to where you live now with your three cats?

SF: You heard right. I moved to the US when I was 11. It was there that I found my love for writing, in fact. I was lucky enough to attend an Arts based High School who had the most incredible Creative Writing teacher. I have her to thank for where I am now.

I am sure that you have answered this question many times recently, but I hope you don’t mind answering it again.  How did the writing start?

SF: I have been writing for twelve years, dabbling mostly in poetry but started writing novels when a friend mentioned NaNoWriMo to me. Since that moment you can now find my nose touching the Mac and my fingers on the keys at every given chance.

Said with such passion J.  Do you have time for other hobbies?

SF: Not so much (ha!) but when I do have some free time I likes to draw, paint, crochet (amigurumi), and play the odd videogame. I pride myself on being a bit of a geek, especially when it comes to Batman, and I am a sucker for anything horror related.

There’s nothing like having a good fright! But before I get sidetracked, shall we move on to the book?  North: The Lycans, a new Young Adult book about a shifter girl, and how her life is suddenly faced with love and war.   

So without further waiting, let’s have a look at the Blurb:

Riley Olssen is a born and bred Lycan who lives in the quiet suburbs of Valdez, Alaska. Her life is simple: she goes to school, comes home, and shifts in the forest behind her home. When her father receives word that his brother has died, they must return to his home in Sweden to take care of the pack Davin left behind.

Soon after they arrive, Riley realizes there is much more to the small town than she'd ever expected. She discovers that the Lycans are not the only creatures to hide behind a human façade. Falling in love with the wrong Lycan is only one of the problems she encounters. In one day, her life is forever changed, and she must discover her own inner strength because all signs seem to point to a war heading her way.

If that isn’t enough to entice you, take a look at this stunning cover:

Very mysterious and intriguing! I absolutely love the wolf face in the background.

The book is available now from…  (Omnilit: http://www.omnilit.com/product-norththelycans-830447-228.html)

But if the above hasn’t convinced you enough to buy it, here’s a little excerpt:

The line began to move, and once I handed my ticket to the flight attendant to rip, I barreled down the Jetway, making a few passengers uncomfortable as it swayed under us, and practically fell in the door of the plane. Two men were checking seat numbers. One of them giggled at me, the other rolled his eyes. I beamed as brightly as I could at them–the most fake smile I have–and ran to my seat. 32F, window seat behind the wing. The seats were well cushioned and there was a sufficient amount of leg room, although I wondered how my six-foot-four father would fare for nine hours.

I strapped myself in, kicked my backpack under the seat and waited for mom to give me my book, a new Jeff Lindsay thriller, and sit down next to me. Dad always took the aisle so he could stretch out. The engine roared to life and mom held my hand, knowing that my nerves would be racking up by then. I might be eager, but take off always terrifies me.

I see a red door, and I want it painted black.

Singing a song in my head always seemed to calm my nerves. We were on the runway now, moving forward. The engines roared again and my heart kicked into overdrive. Sweat seeped from everywhere, and I gripped mom's hand even tighter.

No colors anymore, I want them to turn black.

We were moving fast, the seat belt sign blinked a few thousand times, and I scrunched my eyes shut. The plane tipped up, the floor beneath us shook, and I could hear my breath echoing in my ears. Midnight woke up, her whines turned to growls, and soon I was struggling to keep her in. My chest burst into flames as I sensed her trying to escape. I looked at mom, who had been watching me from the moment we took off. She looked worried, and I panicked. I unbuckled and shuffled past mom and dad and, clutching my chest, my nails already in transition, I ran to the bathroom.

"Hey! We're still in takeoff! You can't get up!" The flight attendant said and tried to grab me. I ripped my arm from his grasp. Midnight growled, the flight attendant cowered, and I locked myself in the bathroom. Sliding against the door, I pushed Midnight down and tried to tell her to stop, but she wouldn't listen.

I shifted. 10,000 feet in the air, a black wolf squeezed into a tiny box.

Shit! Midnight, stop! Not now, dammit!

The plane began to shake and jump, and with my paws outstretched I slammed into every wall at least a dozen times. I tried to turn, but my head just got wedged between the door and the sink.

This has to be the smallest damn bathroom ever!

"Are you all right in there, miss?" A man said from the other side of the door and knocked.

Double shit! Now what am I going to do?

The seat belt sign went off with a ding. There was a rustling outside the door and muffled voices. Mom was coming to our rescue. We could smell her, and then her motherly voice spoke to us.

"Riley? Are you all right, darlin'?"

Midnight whined but I managed to muffle most of it and force her to sit back.

"Think of the snow between your feet," she whispered so only we would hear. "Think of the lands you can run wild in when we get there."

Midnight latched to that thought and started to let me regain control over my body. She retracted slowly, and I curled in a ball next to the door, naked as the day I was born and staring at my torn clothes as if I could mend them together with my mind. I slid the lock along for mom, and she sneaked inside, a change of clothes and shoes at the ready. She smiled sweetly and rubbed my shoulder.

"Don't worry, honey. You'll gain control of her soon." She kissed my forehead and helped me clean up.

I have to say Suzanne, that even as an adult this story really appeals to me.  I can remember growing up and being at that age where life changes dramatically and you don’t always feel in control.  The fear of the unknown, taking chances and growing up. I have already purchased a copy and it is now lined up on my Kindle to be my next read.

SF: Thank you very much for the kind words and support! I can only hope that Riley speaks for a lot of people out there, not just teens.

If you would like to find out more about future releases from Suzanne Fuller, you can find her at Young adult blog (created with J Lilley) Dark & Dusk. www.darkanddusk.blogspot.com

Suzanne, it has been a pleasure having you here, thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to us today, and I wish you every success.

Take care

SF: Thanks so much for having me J.P. <3

J.P. Stevens

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A story line you decide.

Does he live, or does he die?

I have been working on a manuscript that started out as a challenge from Stephen King’s On Writing.  He outlined a concept of a story and told us to see what you can do with it in six pages.  Well, I have never been one to put limitation my imagination, so I now currently stand at Ten pages. 

However, I can’t make up my mind where to go from here.  As this is just an exercise, I thought, why not see what people want?  So this is the first story ever, where you (the reader) get to decide what happened in the story.  The first thing you get to choose is weather Barry lives or dies.

So here is what I have written.  Leave your comments and preference on where the story goes from here.  The majority goes, so make sure you have your say.

Chapter One

Barry scooped Nelly up in a bear hug.  He hated leaving her at parties.  However, he hated being the only man in the room even more.  He wouldn’t leave if Nelly wasn’t comfortable with it, but she was growing up so fast.  To look at her, you would never think that in her short nine years of life that she had been through more than most adults face in a lifetime.

“Bye dad.”

Realising that he still held Nelly captive, Barry loosened his hold just enough to kissed her rosy cheek.

“See you later squirt,” he said and watched with parental pride as she skipped off down the hall way and out of sight.

“She’ll be fine, I promise.”

He looked up to face Cheryl.  Her kind eyes assuring him that Nelly would be taken care of.

“I know,” he replied.  His voice failed to hide the anticipation he felt.

“You’re more than welcome to stay?”                                                                                    

“No. It’s ok, Nelly is fine. Besides I promised myself a little T.V man time. None of this Hannah Montana rubbish I’ve been forced into watching lately.  Oh, I nearly forgot, my mobile is on the blink.  I dropped it in water so if you need me, call me on this number,” he said as he handed Cheryl a piece of scrap paper with his home number on it.

“Thanks Barry, though I already have all your numbers.” She made no effort to hide her sympathetic smile as she spoke.

He knew he was being over protective and although she would never say it, he could hear it in her tone just the same.  Feeling slightly embarrassed now he answered. “I know.  I’m doing it again. Sorry.” The smile she gave him in return was full of understanding.  Cheryl had turned out to be a very good friend.  It has taken years for him to trust another woman, but she had earned her trust by supporting Nelly so much.  It’s not easy on any child to lose their mother at such a young age, but to have one locked away.  Well that’s something entirely different. Nelly has come through it and weather he liked to admit it or not, that is largely down to the support Nelly got from Cheryl and her daughter Emily.

“I’ll be back about 6:30 to collect her.”

“No problem, I’ll see you then.”

“See you later,” he replied and headed up the garden path towards his car.

On his drive home, Barry forced himself not to think about the past.  He put the radio on and Adel’s ‘Someone like you’ flooded his ears.  Needing something a little more upbeat he flicked on the cd.  Kings of Leon ‘Sex is on Fire’ started up and Barry reached for the volume.  This was exactly what he needed to start his man time.

The clock on the dashboard illuminated the time.  Ten to four he noted and then turned his attention to the sky. A brilliant blue, matched with a blazing sun that made you feel good.  No exceptions.  The slight breeze kept the air moving and brought relief from the heat.  Definitely beer garden weather, Barry thought. His mind contemplated this as he turned into his tree lined street.  The trees were too small to provide shade from the sun, unless you were an ant of course. 

A row of bright red brick houses stood proud and inviting.  He wasn’t sure about the house when he first bought it, though now it appealed to him.  The quietness of the street, no nosy neighbours and a garden big enough to grow vegetables and still have room for Nelly to play.

Barry brought the car to a stop outside his house.  As he got out of the car and stretched.  The fabulous weather made up his mind.  Definitely a beer in the garden and then he would walk back to Cheryl’s to collect Nelly.

As he walked up the garden path a bee buzzed in his ear, then darted off towards the hanging basket Nelly had planted some pansies in.  Their vibrant colours seemed to shine even more in the sunlight.  Together with the sweet smell of the honeysuckle climbing up the wall Barry felt welcome.

He unlocked the door and stepped over the threshold.  The coolness inside the house made his skin goose bump.  The quietness was deafening, the house cold and lifeless.  Barry looked around, something wasn’t right, but he didn’t know what.  After a few seconds of mentally placing everything that should be in the hall he assured himself that it was just because Nelly wasn’t with him.  He set his keys on the side and headed into the front room.

Once again he scouted the room quickly.  Thankfully everything seemed in order so he forced himself to relax.  The beer he promised himself called out and he headed into the kitchen to grab one from the fridge.  After locating the backdoor key, he walked out onto the patio, selected a sun lounger in the direct sun and sat down.  He unbuttoned the top few buttons on his shirt and rolled up his sleeves and then sat back to take his first sip.  Pure gold, smooth and cool.  He swallowed long gulps as the liquid hit the back of his throat, quenching a need as desperate as rain in a dry season. 

He forced himself to stop.  He didn’t want to finish the bottle in one, even though he knew he could.  He rested his head against the back of the lounger and looked over the back garden at the woods. Various birds were nesting in the trees, he and Nelly had spent many hours watching them through binoculars.  He loved listening to them sing.  Their music calmed him, even in his more restless moods. 

The beer bottle was back at his lips, his head bent back to drain the last dregs.  He closed his eyes and let the sun warm his face as the beer ran through his veins making his body come alive.  He knew if he sat there for much longer, he would fall asleep.  Without the alarm on his phone to wake him in time to collect Nelly, Barry decided it would be best to move.

As he stepped back into the kitchen, the uneasy feeling that greeted him at the front door returned. Only this time it was much stronger.  He stepped with caution, placing his beer bottle on the counter, and headed towards the entrance hall. Then he smelt it. There was no mistaking the scent he had lived with for eight years.  Eternity, the only perfume she ever wore. But it didn’t make sense.  Heather was locked away. 

Chapter Two

The floor board at the top of the stairs creaked.  He didn’t have to look up to know that someone was there. His heart pounded hard and fast, echoing in his ears. He must have been holding his breath because the entrance hall seemed to be closing in on him as more footfalls slowly descended the staircase. He closed his eyes praying to god that he was mistaken.  Did I fall asleep in the garden? Is this a dream?

Her laugh was harsh and fully of pity. He knew this was no dream.

“Is that anyway to greet your wife?”

He didn’t want to open his eyes. He couldn’t open his eyes. That would make it all real. His mind told him to run, screaming the front door, run, get out. His body betrayed him.  It was as if his feet were set in cement.

“Look at me you bastard!”

Why he did what she demanded he didn’t know. Perhaps some part of him wanted to see her in the flesh, to prove this was really happening.  At least that way he could be sure he hadn’t finally cracked up. Or maybe just because he had always done as she demanded. The physical attack on him seemed to hurt less when he co-operated.

He saw her feet first.  Small black heal shoes and bare legs. His eyes travelled up slowly taking in her black skirt and white shirt. She stepped closer to him, her scent violating his nostrils.  He hesitated before lifting his head higher to look at her face. She looked well considering how sick she was.  Her once short brown hair was now long and glossy. Her skin once pale now healthy.  If he didn’t know her so well, even he would second guess that it was Heather standing in front of him.  However, her eyes told a very different story.  They were cold, calculating and capable of stopping you dead with just a look.

With every step forward she made, Barry took one back. No words spoken as he was locked in her stare.  It was getting harder for him to breath.  The sight of fright in his eyes bringing her pleasure as a sick smile spread across her thin lips.  She backed him against the wall and stepped closer still.  The entrance hall closed in on him even more as she stepped right up to him.

“Boo,” she said followed by her demeaning cackle.  That was the last thing Barry remembered as darkness consumed him and he dropped to the floor.


Heather moved fast as she dragged Barry into the dining room.  It had been a while since she had the pleasure of doing this and he was heavier than she remembered.  It didn’t stop her.  She had been preparing for this day for years, both physically and mentally.  She was ready and the time was right. Her only concern was the lack of her daughter. 

As she hoisted Barry up onto the dining room chair he stirred, indicating he was coming round.  With one quick blow to the back of his neck he went out cold again. It amazed her how good she had got at putting him out like that.  It had taken years of practise she thought, as she worked fast to tie his arms behind his back. She used a think rope and draped it around his neck, then tied each end to the bounds at his wrists.  Satisfied that if he tried to struggle with his hands, the rope round his neck was tight enough to restrict his breathing, she moved on to bind his feet to the chair legs. Now she had to wait for him to wake up.

Heather pulled another chair to sit right in front of him.  She ran her hands up his thighs, surprised by the strength she could feel.  He had great legs she remembered. Satisfaction warmed her heart with the realisation that she was going to get what she wanted.  Even though his head hung low, somewhere deep down she knew that he wouldn’t put up a fight. Her hand reached for his hair and her fingers tangled themselves in his silk as she lifted his head up. He always looked so peaceful with his eyes closed.  The sight of him like that now tugged straight at her heart. She had to make him understand that everything she did was because she loved him so much. Surely he could understand that?

She leant in and kissed his lips lightly. He didn’t respond.  Anger instantly replaced any tenderness she was feeling and she rose to her feet. The back of her hand connected with his cheek bone with a satisfying sound.  He jolted, but not enough to wake him fully.  She used her other hand to mirror the action on the other side of his face.  He woke this time. His mumbled outcry was music to her ears.  She wanted him to hurt as much as she did. She watched him as he struggled in his seat, trying to free his arms.  As soon as the rope tightened round his neck, he stopped.  Pleased with her restraints she connected with the side of his face again.


“Stop, please stop.” The tears fell silently down his face as the realisation of his living nightmare hit full force. “What do you want? Please just stop.” He lifted his head up to look at her. The pleasure of his pain smeared across her face.

“Now now, Barry, have you forgotten the rules? We don’t beg and plead. It’s a sign of weakness. Or are you out of practise?”

He swallowed hard at her question.  If he answered her honestly, she would give him a good beating just to get him used to it again.  If he lied and said no, she’d beat him just as much to see what he could handle.
“Can’t we just talk?” His question surprised her
just as much as it did him.  This was the kind of response he gave Nelly all the time.

“Talk, hu. Years we were together Barry, I tried to talk to you, but you never listened. It was always about your work or what Nelly wanted, never mind what I needed. You shut me out and then had me locked up, but now you want to talk?”

She back handed him again, this time connecting with his lip.  Red crimson seeped from the small split, and something inside Barry snapped.  He licked the blood and looked up at her. No longer afraid of being physically hurt, he just stared at her with equally cold eyes.

For years he had asked himself what he had done wrong to deserve the beats.  He even accepted her justification and always tried to be a better husband to her. After all, it was his fault! She had convinced him so many times.

It was only with that last whack that he realised he had done nothing to antagonise her or cause her to react this way. This was who she really was.  The mascaraed he had fallen in love with all those years ago was just that, and nothing more.  She was never going to change back.

Barry processed these thoughts, still glaring at her.  She couldn’t hurt him anymore, not emotionally.  Physically, well while he was tied up like this yes, but his bruises would heal. He found strength in his contemplation and he was going to use it to survive.

A clicking sound make him look up to find himself staring into the barrel of some kind of pistol.

Chapter Three

“I told you when we first met that I don’t like coming second.” She said. Her tone was full of resentment.  “The second that little bitch was born that’s all you cared about.  I didn’t matter anymore.”

“That’s not true!”  He shouted, panic at the sight of a gun clearly evident in his voice.

“Save it Barry, I’m not interested. On our wedding day, you made a vow to forsake all others, all others.”

“She’s just a child,” he sobbed. Any hope of survival he had a moment ago were gone.

A defining bang resonated in his ears.  There is no mistaking a gun shot, even if you have never fired one.  Barry’s eyes were squeezed tightly closed waiting for the pain to come. It didn’t. Did she miss?

He heard her sick hysterical laugh and then opened his eyes.

“Ha ha ha, you looked so scared.”

She was in control again and he knew she understood that just as much as he did.  She stepped toward him, waving the pistol in her hand carelessly. When she reached the chair she put the gun to the side of his temple, slowly tracing it down the side of his face. “I want you to put me first Barry.”

Her tone was serious and it scared the shit out of him.  “What do you want me to do?”

“Show me that you love me, Barry,” she said, as she straddled his legs and sat on his lap.

He was stuck. His hands and neck tied, legs bound.  He couldn’t move before she added her weight to him.  She could do anything she wanted to him. He had no escape.

Then her lips kissed the side of his lip, the gun still planted at the other side of his head.  He got the message loud and clear.

He tried to kiss her back. Tried to pretend it was what he wanted so she would leave him alone. But he fooled no-one.  Silent tears fell from his eyes. He squeezed them tight in a vein effort to stop them, but she had already sensed his lack of participation.

“Look at me!” Heather demanded, and Barry reluctantly opened his eyes.  Her face was up close to his.  Her eyes wide with rage. “You don’t love me!” 

It was a statement, not a question as Barry saw the realisation flash in her eyes.  He couldn’t answer. He was afraid to.  The gun was still in her hand, pointing at the side of his head. A new level of fear rushed through him.  His body temperature dropped.  Goosebumps crawled all over his skin. He wet himself.

She didn’t smile at his evident fear like she would normally.  There were no further hits as he expected, waiting for him to beg her to stop before she relented.  Heather got off his lap and stood on her feet in front of him. The pistol rose up in her hands as she took aim at his head. 

Barry couldn’t take his eyes off her.  He couldn’t even bring himself to close them.  It wouldn’t stop her.  He accepted that. All these years fighting. Years spent trying to build a life for Nelly.  For it to all come down to this.  He should have known she would kill him eventually. 

The safety catch clicked off.  He knew this was it. His only regret was that Nelly wasn’t there to die with him.  He closed his eyes and prayed to God that Nelly would never have to see her mother again.

The gun fired, echoing in his ears. He held his breath, waiting for the pain.

So there it is.  I hope you enjoyed the first part.  Now to decide on what happens next.

a)           Does she shoot him and the story then takes her as the main character, or…

b)           Does she shoot herself and the story then continues on his mental recovery, or

c)           Does she shoot him but fail to kill him, and escape out the back door.  The story then continues with his recovery and the hunt for Heather?

You decide so get voting now.  Leave a comment below with your choice, or any alternatives you can think of.  Remember, the majority wins.