Dear Darling – A Valentine Special

CHAPTER TWO

I chew on my nail as I browse through houses to rent online, hoping that ‘the one’ will jump out at me soon. Tensions are running pretty high right now and there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m actually glad to get Adam away for a few days, maybe he’ll be able to relax a bit. I feel him tossing and turning in bed every night, our deadline to get out of this house is 25 February. That’s approximately 2 weeks to find somewhere we’re happy to rent for at least 6 months because the conveyancing department at work have told us we’d have to be bloody lucky or buying a repossession to be in a new house within that timescale.

I put my head on my desk and groan. Being a grown up can kiss my arse.

“Ellie, that Lease, is it ready?” Adam bursts into my room in a whirlwind. A delicious smelling whirlwind but a whirlwind nonetheless.

“Yeah, here.” I hand him the draft Lease and smile back at his bemused face. “What?” I feel at my face and something drops from my forehead. Pringle crumbs. Nice.

“I need you to book me some accommodation for a meeting next week in Manchester. Our new branch has fucked up with a major client so all the Partners are heading up to try and sort something out.”

“Sure, when for?” I mentally plan a night with Hannah now Gina has to be a proper grown up to a little person.

“Just Thursday overnight. I’ll be back Friday in time for dinner with my parents.” He’s scanning through the Lease as he talks, glancing up at me occasionally.

“A free meal always sounds good to me. I really need to get the recipe from your mum for her carrot cake, too. That counts as one of your five a day, right?” I flash him my newly whitened teeth and he laughs.

“Yes, of course it does.” He gives me a wry smile. “Right, I’m off. I’ll probably be late home tonight so grab something without me. I can’t come home to a hangry Ellie, it’s terrifying.” Kissing the top of my head, he rushes out of my office as quickly as he came.

Work was manic before Christmas. I’m talking 12 hour days, ratty clients, staff shortages, but somehow, January and February have seemed worse! It’s like those that didn’t complete their transactions before Christmas are hell bent on making my life miserable by insisting it happens right now. Not next week, not next month, now. And it doesn’t matter that their tenants can’t move in until spring, they want shizz sorted right this second. Feckers.

Ripping open the lid on my carrot and hummus snack pot, I pull up Google and look at images of New York. Because when you have work coming out of every orifice what else is there to do other than kick back and toss it off?

I hope it snows when we’re there. Not enough to affect our flights but wouldn’t that be the ultimate? New York on Valentines Day wandering around hand in hand while the snow falls.

“Ellie?” I jump as Hannah appears at my door.

“Jesus Hannah, at least give a girl some warning before making her jump like that.” I put my heart to my chest and feel my heart thudding against it.

“Guilty conscience much.” She arches an eyebrow so I give her my middle finger in return. “What’s up?” I close down the New York tab on my computer and give her my full attention because let’s face it, I’m so easily distracted that she could be telling me she was about to give birth to a sea lion and I’d simply smile and nod.

“Have you told Adam about your interview yet?”

Good mood – splat.

“No,” I shift in my seat, not meeting her gaze.

“Ellie! The interview tomorrow, how have you not told him? How have you got out of working in the morning?”

I bite my lip and smile as I remember Adam’s face. “I told him I was going for a smear.”

“ELLIE!!” Despite her anger, Hannah laughs. “You can’t lie to him, you know that don’t you?”

“I know, I know. But it’s just so hard, you know. I’m breaking up our work relationship. I just thought maybe I could go for the interview-“

“In secret?” Hannah gave me her judgey face. She gets so judgey these days when she thinks I’ve had a foolish idea or I’ve ordered 3 starters, 2 mains, a side and 2 naans from the Indian down the road then go back for a dunk of her curry sauce.

“I’ll tell him tonight.” I roll my eyes and pull up an image of New York, wondering how I’ll tell him that I don’t want to be his PA anymore without hurting his feelings. Maybe I’ll cushion the blow with new underwear.

“Good. Now let’s start planning how to take Tiffany’s by storm!” Giggling, Hannah comes around my desk and perches on the window ledge. “Oh I hope it snows. Christen has been to New York before but I want to make this special for us, you know? He took such a massive leap of faith moving to London to be with me, this will be our first proper break together.”

“Ah Han, it’ll be amazing. Oh, before I forget, Adam’s away in Manchester next Thursday, do you fancy a night at mine? We could grab food, a few cocktails, stick a girly film on? Like old times, what do you say?”

“Oh yeah, just like old times,” Hannah laughs. “What time will Arianna’s clients be knocking on the door? Thank God you’re out of that place.”

Groaning I close my eyes. The image of a stumpy, sweaty older man propositioning me in my doorway will be forever etched on my brain.

“Right, it’s a date. Better get on with some work, haven’t you heard my boss is an absolute dick?” I laughed as Hannah rolled her eyes and left me to catch up on a dozen emails, as well as downloading the holiday countdown app on my phone. Obviously.

*

Interview day rolls around all too quickly.

I’d broken the news to Adam over a bottle of champagne and a box of his favourite truffles. He’s such a woman.

To be fair, he didn’t take the news badly at all. He was however slightly pissed off that I had lied about the whole smear test thing.

“You really felt that you had to lie to me?” He asked, muting the television so that I had nowhere to look other than at his beautiful face. I squirmed under his scrutiny with nowhere to run or hide.

“No, it’s not that, I just didn’t know how to tell you and thought that after the interview, it might be easier to somehow tell you. Because after the interview I’d know whether I was good enough to work anywhere else. I’m still not sure I got the job with you because I was good enough for it.”

“Ellie.”

“No, Adam. I love you but there’s not a week goes by that I don’t wonder whether I got the job because you thought I had a nice arse.”

“Well, you do have a nice arse, that is true,” a slow smile spread across his face. “But listen to me, Ellie Darling, you are bloody good at your job. You do the job of about 4 people, all while keeping me in line and you have never once complained.  You are kind, generous, and far too helpful for your own good and even when the shit hits the fan you front it out. If you feel like you want to spread your wings and see other employers,” he smiled as he took my hand, “then so be it.”

“You old romantic, you.” Leaning in for a kiss, I was once again floored by Adam Donley. As our lips touched, I pulled at his shirt collar and climbed onto his lap. “You never cease to amaze me. From surprise weekends away to coming home on a Friday night with my favourite ice cream when you know I’ve had an awful day.” I peppered kisses across his face as I undid his shirt and slipped it down his tanned arms.

“Ellie, not here.”

“Oh yes Adam, right here. If we’re going to lose the house anyway I want to rechristen every single room, starting right here, right now. I want you Adam, in every single way, and I can feel that you’re in agreement.” I laughed, wiggling my bum as he groaned and pulled me into a long deep kiss, sitting up and pinning me underneath him.

“God I love this dress,” he whispered as he slowly unzipped the front of my dress, his fingers delicately following the trail until it fell apart. “And I love you.”

My memories are quickly poofed through like a cloud of smoke as a 6ft glamazon smiles at me from above, legs to rival Taylor Swift as I stumble to my feet, my own Bambi like legs shaking with nerves.

“Ellie Darling? Hi my name’s Lydia, it’s so lovely to meet you. Won’t you follow me?”

Elite Event Management in the world according to Gina, is the dog’s bollocks at what they do. They have organised some of the most high profile celebrity events that London has ever seen and are about to branch out to New York. I only know this because the marketing firm Gina works for swear by Elite and if Gina gives a place the thumbs up you know it’s good. One of her contacts had recently told her that a vacancy had become available and wondered whether she would be interested. She told them she’d rather eat her own liver than work those kinds of hours anymore but she knew I’d thrive on this kind of challenge so here I am. About to go for an interview for a company that, according to the rumour mill, have arranged parties for Kim Kardashian and Kanye. I figure if they’re good enough for Kimye then why the hell not go for it.

Lydia’s office was the complete opposite of what I expected. Whenever I think of someone with a reputation as good as Lydia’s, I imagine them to have an office to rival Miranda’s from The Devil Wears Prada. The office I’m faced with is muted greys and nudes, an elegant suede sofa in the corner with cream scatter cushions, a sleek Macbook sat atop a dark oak table and the most intimidating view I have ever seen. I’m talking Trump Towers view. Even Adam’s view couldn’t rival this.

“Please, take a seat. Would you like a drink?” Lydia sits opposite me, her back to the magnificent view.

“Oh no, I’m fine, thank you.” I try to swallow the nerves and pull back my shoulders. I can do this. I totally have this. All I have to do is be myself.

“Wonderful. I’ll just bring my assistant in, you’ll be working side by side so I’d like to have her around. She’s been with me almost a year and I don’t know how I managed without her now.” Lydia laughs as I smile, prepared to meet the woman who, by the sounds of it, will get the final say on whether she thinks I’m up to the task.

A secluded door opens to the left of Lydia and my face freezes on what can only be described as a manic smile.

Sophie.

Of all the mother fudging people to walk through the door it had to be her. Still blonde. Still a size 6. Undoubtedly, still a bitch.

“Ellie! Oh when I saw your name appear in my diary I hoped it would be you. How are you these days?”

I gulp, my whole body numb. Sod it, I may as well relax, it’s not like I’m going to get the job now.

“Fine, thank you. You?” I want to vomit.

“Oh I am wonderful.” A sinister smile cross her face and my defences are officially on red alert.

“You two know each other?” Lydia looks confused which makes me wonder how creative Sophie has been with her CV.

“We do indeed. I worked with Ellie briefly at a law firm some time ago. She’s remarkable at her job Lydia, slept her way to the top like a true professional.” Sophie sits back in her chair and crosses her tiny ankles that are swallowed by the chunky black boots she has on. Her fashion sense always did leave a lot to be desired.

“Oh….” Lydia turns her nose up at me. “Is this why you’re wanting to leave? Has it gone a bit sour?” I can tell she’s trying for sympathetic but her tone is enough to curdle milk.

“Not at all, and that’s not really what happened. Sophie stalked my former fiancé via Twitter, took him for herself for a slice of fame pie, tried to get me sacked which resulted in my promotion and then blamed me for her relationship turning sour. Roman is gay now, you see.” I pick up my handbag, not in the mood for a bun fight. “I’m truly sorry for wasting your time, Lydia. If I had known Sophie worked here I would never have applied for the job. Thank you for taking the time to see me. I’ll see myself out.”

I hear Sophie whispering something as I leave the room, my face burning. I want to burst into tears. I had such high hopes for this job, to spread my wings and try something a little different. I’ve worked in law for 13 years and I’m ready for a change.

As the cool February air hits me, I take a deep breath and call Adam.

“Hey gorgeous, how was it? I wasn’t expecting to hear from you so soon.” I want to burst into tears down the line, to slide down the wall of the building and sit on the cold pavement crying that Sophie has once again managed to stick the knife in unexpectedly. But I don’t.

“You free for lunch?” My voice is timid. I’m tired, hungry and just want to see the face of my best friend. Gina aside, obviously.

“Yeah, of course. Are you okay?” I smile to myself picturing exactly how he’ll look right about now. He will have sat forward in his chair, frowning, biting his lips as he tries to work out what’s happened and how he can fix it. He is always so good at fixing things.

I sigh, staring up at the clouds as the move lazily across the powder blue sky. “Gingers in half an hour?”

“Oh Ellie. I’ll see you soon. I’m clearing my diary for the day as we speak, don’t worry about whatever has happened. We’ll fix it.”

Adam Donley. My very own Superman.

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I have news!!!

Good morning/ good afternoon/ good evening, wherever in the world you are when you read this.

The last few months have been eerily quiet on my part, I have been up to my eyeballs in bookish stuff and general life shizzery that I won’t bore you with 😉 HOWEVER, this means that I have been able to work ridiculously hard to bring you lovely lot a new summer read! I can FINALLY confirm that Perfume and Promises will be released on Saturday 21st May. Hurrahhhhhh! And because I love you all, here’s a sneaky peek at my blurb…….

Chloe Richards is a small town girl with a big heart. At least, that’s what the local folk of Rosehip Village think. But when her parents turn up on her doorstep asking for help, her secret past is about to be revealed.

Being the daughter of Hollywood royalty was never going to be easy, but at 19, Chloe Richards managed to leave that life behind along with the scandals that almost destroyed her. A fresh start was all she needed, and a fresh start was what she got in Rosehip. Girlfriend of a local bookshop owner, best friends with fiercely loyal café owner and owner of a perfume business herself, Chloe has a happy life. But her parents are about to turn her perfect life on its head. Again.

What do you do when you’re torn between loyalty and protecting yourself? Should you trust your heart when your head is telling you not to?

So there you have bookish news number 1. I did say yesterday on Facebook however that there would be 2 bits of news, so it gives me all the feels to be able to tell you that although I can’t promise an actual follow up this year for Dear Darling, Mr Donley will be gracing my blog on Valentines Week. With a chapter a day to keep you all abreast of what’s been going on in their lives, I hope this makes up for my absence and gives all you Adam fans the fix you need haha. He has been one of my favourite characters to write so far so rest assured, you haven’t seen the last of him yet.

If you want to find out what all the fuss is about over the delicious Mr Donley, you can grab your copy of Dear Darling here from Amazon:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

I’ll keep you all updated on Perfume and Promises but want to thank you all for your patience these last few months! :-*

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Back for good!

Well my precious little blog bunnies, it’s been a while! 115 days to be exact, or at least that’s what the little box at the top says but who knows? I just know that it has been FAR TOO LONG!

A lot has happened since my last blog, and I won’t bore you with the details but lets just say that the major incidents were that I got me an office job that I love and I had to change the book I was writing. That’s right, the book I babbled about and got so excited over, I have had to change. Gutted. I may come back to it at a later date, after all, I had written nearly 80,000 words, but for now I have had to shelve it.

Hey ho though, life goes on and I’ve started writing another book now. I’m 37,000 words in, and this time I’m writing in first person narrative which I’m finding I enjoy a bit more than third person. It’s also set in San Francisco, my favourite place in the world – other than my bed. The only trouble with this little chunk of goodness is that I am struggling with a capital S, to come up with a title. Help.

So, after a long few months I have decided to come back to blogging and consciously make time to blog at least every other day. I may need a kick up the bum to do so but I have the best intentions! I’m just hoping that by getting myself back out here and writing what quite frankly, could and should constitute as nonsense, that I’ll get my groove back with my writing and inspiration will hit me for a title because I can’t publish a book with no name. Sigh.

Well, there’s my mini rant of the moment. Talk about a welcome back post! I hope you all bear with my whilst I try and get through the writing of my new book and ponder over the many things I still have to do with my first self published book.

Over and out party people.

Mucho love

EF

XOXO

The Great Gatsby

Let me just start off by getting this out there…..I LOVE LEONARDO DICAPRIO!! 

I’ve never really being one of those girls that fawned over him in Titanic, I appreciated his face and that was that. Until The Great Gatsby.

How is it that men just come into their own with age, they become handsome, suave, distinguished, but women generally just look worn down. Sad but true. Anyway I digress, my point is Leo is perfect for the role of Gatsby, those eyes draw you in and I never wanted them to let me go. I am now officially a huge Leo fan!

Now, I did feel it was a bit slow to start with, about the first 20 minutes or so didn’t really get me. If I’m honest I began to lose my grasp on the plot. However, once the invite to one of Gatsbys parties arrives for Nick Carraway – the narrator/writer of the story if you will – the fun really starts!

The love story that is revealed is touching, Gatsby has found his true love and will never give up on her. He is the ultimate optimist! 

I won’t spoil anything for anybody who hasn’t seen it, but my advice would be to go. Yes it is a long film, but the cast is excellent and the vivid imagery breathtaking. Maybe I’m biased because of my love of everything 1920s, but I do think that this film is a must see if you can just hold out for the fun to begin!

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SWOOOOON!

EF

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Don’t you just hate it when….

Inspiration hits you right between the eyes when you’re trying to get to sleep! This happened lastnight and I had to fish around under my pillow to find my phone and write up my thoughts on the notepad. It’s that moment where you’re laid there thinking, surely I’ll just remember this in the morning, but then panic hits and you can’t sleep anyway. Ugh. Though if I’m honest, I am glad I wrote it down because I couldn’t remember every intricate detail when I woke up so I guess I did myself a favour.

In completely unrelated news, I’m sat here in my living room typing away to some bizarre noises coming from the snicket next to the house, it sounds like a group of young men cheering and ooooo-ing….I won’t lie, I’m too scared to go shut the curtains now! It’s 10.16pm, go away please and come back when it’s not pitch black out. Also, some people are hanging around the park too. If there’s one thing I hate more than the dark, it’s parks in the dark. I’m far too soft for my own good, and I do realise how pathetic I sound, I do, but we all have our quirks right?

The bullies are back with AF too on Fanfiction, although to be honest, I get the distinct feeling all these are the same person. Yesterday, this person actually told my AF that she is her friend on Facebook but she refused to be anything other than a guest reviewer on FanFic for fear of being savaged by her group of sycophants (I actually had to look that up, and what a nasty thing to call her friends and fans!!) There’s just no need to call somebody a coward and say they hope they fail, karma is a biatch y’all!!

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Anyway, happy Friday night everybody!! Wherever you are, have a drink for me 🙂

EF

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Writers block

I have had the worst writers block ever since the weekend! It’s like the Bank Holiday has destroyed my creativity 😦 my muse has up and left the building, packed a bag, walked out of the door without so much as a Dear John. I sincerely hope she comes back soon, I miss her dearly.

On a positive note, before my rebellious muse deserted me, I decided on a title for my book! Yes, it’s true, FINALLY! I’m ashamed to say that it has taken me a while to come up with a title, whenever I thought of one, it just didn’t feel right. However, because what I’ve written so far is too much to just be in one book, and I have so many plans on how to continue with my characters and their journey, that I decided to turn it into a double act haha

SO, drumroll please……….

I’ve decided on ‘The Ties that Break Us’ and ‘The Ties that Make Us’. I love it, they fit perfectly with the story and they feel right.

Hopefully, when inspiration hits again I’ll be able to write some more and tell you a little bit about the book maybe?

Well, I’m running on empty tonight so I’ll love you and leave you before I overstay my welcome!

EF

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