Posted by: Debrah Martin | August 23, 2015

On curries and flapping Jane Eyres

Curries  and flapping Jane Eyres? How on earth could they be linked?

Well, if you’re curious to try out a contemporary YA novel that doesn’t have fantasy, werewolves, vampires, or anyone suddenly discovering they have magical powers, read on and find out how then link up in Magpies – it’sMAGPIES-3D even FREE on Amazon on the 23rd, 28th and 29th August

Here’s the first excerpt that  I promised from it between now and the 29th August – feel welcome to pass on and re-blog if you wish.

First Lily – the heroine:

“‘Tope,’ Jacob agreed, and his approval was absolute.

‘Right, well, there we go,’ Mr T jumped in, frowning at Jacob, ‘so that’s all explained, then – but no reason for everyone else to copy Si. He’ll do just fine on his own, won’t you Si? Shall we get back to a real-life tope – Lily?’

Respect to Mr T, but me a tope? More a joke, but I don’t mind imagining myself as a romantic heroine – oh yes, that was me all right, after my brush with the great beyond last summer. I pause here to imagine my frail white hand trailing across the regulation hospital blanket, eyes closed, hair fanning dramatically against the ice-white pillow. Ophelia on the NHS…Oh shit, wait. My hair wasn’t long enough to trail anywhere after their version of a pixie cut gone wrong. Back to the drawing board! I imagine myself laying dramatically still against the ice-white pillows, eyes closed, pale delicate face capped by the soft blur of my (now growing out) hospital pixie cut. Matt enters, draws a sharp breath and rushes to my bedside. He falls to his knees and sobs desperately as he clasps my frail trailing hand… before realising he’s kneeling right next to my urine collection bag. Jeez, this dying romantic heroine bit needs a make-over. They never have catheters and drips showing in ER (Mum watches the re-runs all the time, mainly because of George Clooney, I suspect) – it’s all drama and pathos. I’ll pretend Matt enters from the other side of the room and doesn’t see the bag. The door swishes and I hear his feet squeaking on the floor as he approaches… hang on, that’s not Matt. Who’s that? I don’t recognise those feet. The nurses have a brisk swish-pad sound which usually precedes the joys of a bed bath or an undignified inspection of body parts. (Yep, they’re all still there ’cos I haven’t gone anywhere with ’em!) Mum’s are a hurried ‘Oh dear, it’s all my fault’, before the maternal onslaught. Dad’s are a ‘How are you then, me old fruit?’ And Melezz sounds like ‘Oh-em-gee, I have to tell you this…’ mainly because she didn’t think I could hear anything at the time and knew that even if I could, I couldn’t tell anyone about it, no matter how juicy it was. Little did she know…No, this was someone different, light-footed, sneaky. Jas, and she was talking about…

‘Lily?’ I looked around. Where was she then? ‘Li-ly?’ Really insistent now. Dammit, what? Oh, yes, I was in class wasn’t I? Everyone was watching me, especially the new boy. I could feel my face going that particularly unflattering shade of purply pink that no one wants to wear – let alone be…”

Then a bit of Sam – the creative lunatic, with the curry and Jane Eyre link:

” ‘So, what animal, mineral or vegetable are you?’

I didn’t get to answer. There was a loud raspberrying sound, like a wet balloon expelling all its air.

‘Phwaw – that’s gross!’

‘Awww! Who did that?’


Much flapping of hands and Jane Eyres.

‘Sorry,’ said Sam, joining me in the purply-pink stakes. ‘Curry last night – my Mum makes a blinder.’…”

Then Si, trouble you think?

“Most of the week has been quiet until now. Jacob, Sam, Ade, Matt and Si were all off with some rampant tummy or flu bug – more likely one of Sam’s Mum’s curries had found a way of being airborne, but they were all back today, if a little peaky. So was Mr T. Or perhaps that’s just him being wary of Jacob after his last performance. Anyway, leeway had given over to no way. He was taking no chances. Jacob wasn’t even on the agenda today, but Si was, talking about using the vernacular. Bad move Mr T. Si and Jacob have become bosom buddies in the intervening days between last English lesson and this, and like I said, where Jacob’s involved…

‘V-vernacular. The language of the t-time,’ Si explained, scholarly in the extreme, twirling his fingers in the air and punctuating the end of the sentence with a series of ugh-ugh-ugh and a wink. Someone giggled and was quickly hushed. Word had got around fast and Jacob was now Daddy Cool. By association so were Si and the Sam Band members. You didn’t mock Jacob’s Daddy Cool-gang buddies, unless you wanted to feel the force of mockery turned back on you.

I hadn’t really noticed the stutter until today – not that I’d had much chance to observe the quarry at close quarters at all. Jacob had hunted him down with the skill of a native Indian, and already bound him tight into the ‘weird-different’ clan of ‘unique’ as Jacob saw it. The thing was though, Si was weird-different by nature, whereas Jacob was weird-different by design. I didn’t know if the two went together, really, but it was Si’s choice. And OK, yes, I was still pissed at being excluded from the ‘weird-different’ clan, at Si for not asking Jacob to include me, and at Melezz for excluding me from everything else as she so often does these days, Jas or no Jas. I watched Si, sizing him up for Jacob-worthiness. Or maybe the other way round.”

And finally those bitchy BFF’s, Jas and Melezz:

“‘So what do you think about when you stare into space?’ Jas launched straight at me. No mature-sixth-former’s truce for us.

‘Matt,’ supplied Melezz. ‘She’s day-dreaming about…’

‘Oh, you’re still on him, are you?’ Jas’s lip curled.

I fumed. Si had removed himself from the sausage machine effect that had been pushing him down the corridor and had come back to listen with interest. I said the only thing I could think of to shut Melezzz and Jas up at the time.

‘Phuket!’ Jas looked down her nose at me and Melezz was about to get on her high horse. ‘It’s a place in Bangkok,’ I added sweetly – ‘that’s what Si says anyway, isn’t it Si?…”

Next up – Jacob and his literary bent (yes, that is the right word), Lily’s Mum and a little bit of plotting …

Do try the first book in the series too: Webs – and find out Lily’s back story. Webs is also FREE on 28th and 29th August.WEBS-3D

Until the next excerpt, you can find me on: 

Or follow me on Twitter @Storytellerdeb

Or find me on Facebook: Author



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