Pre-Order Now Live!
'A Hogmanay Kiss' - the fun, feel good, festive sequel to 'The Back Up Plan' - is now available to pre-order at Amazon!
You can still secure your free e-book copy (mobi format) by clicking the link below to subscribe to my website before midnight GMT on the 30th November.
Purchased copies (e-book and paperback) will be released on 1st December, and will feature additional bonus material, including an exclusive sneak peek of my next novel, which is due for release in Spring/Summer 2021. I'll be revealing the title to this soon, so watch this space!
To whet your appetite, I thought I'd share an extract from Chapter 6 of 'A Hogmanay Kiss'. Welcome to the top of Calton Hill, overlooking the city of Edinburgh, on a cold, crisp December afternoon...
After leaving the museum, they walked through the city and ate a late lunch of pre-packed sandwiches and takeaway coffee at the top of Calton Hill. The prominent knoll stood at the back of the city, and was a popular spot for tourists. From the top, it offered panoramic views over the rooftops towards the castle, and to Arthur’s Seat beyond.
Marsaili and Will found an empty bench in the shadow of the unfinished acropolis, a memorial to the Scottish soldiers who died during the Napoleonic wars. The low winter sun was bright as it descended towards the horizon, just kissing the top of the Balmoral clock tower in the distance, and casting the ancient, jumbled rooftops in a golden glow.
They were still there long after their sandwiches had been finished, Marsaili snuggled in against Will’s chest. It was cold, the sun now almost completely lowered behind the silhouetted buildings, but the cityscape before them was so beautiful that neither of them showed any inclination to move. There were other tourists still milling around, but Marsaili was oblivious; all she could hear was the steady and comforting thump of Will’s heartbeat against her cheek.
“Marsaili?” Something about the tone of his voice made her sit up.
“What is it?”
Will coughed and shifted nervously in his seat, removing his arm from her shoulders and turning so they were face to face. He took Marsaili’s hands in his. “You know that I love you, don't you?”
She smiled. “Of course I do…”
“Just the way you are,” he continued. “Every neurotic, overthinking, argumentative, beautiful hair on your head. I wouldn’t change a bit of you.”
Marsaili laughed. “Are these supposed to be compliments? Because I don’t think you’re getting it right…”
“I just want you to know that I see you.” Will's face was earnest; he grasped her hands fiercely, his brown eyes fixed on her own. “I see the real you - everything that’s wonderful about you, and everything that's, well… not so wonderful.” He gave her a glimmer of a smile then, breathing deeply before he continued. “I see you, and I love you...”
The words dried up on his tongue. Will’s leg was bouncing frantically up and down, as one hand released hers and slipped into the pocket of his coat. Marsaili watched him curiously. He looked anxious, and cleared his throat nervously before continuing. “What I’m trying to say is -”
“Is everything okay?” Marsaili interrupted. “You’re acting really strange.”
Will blinked, his jaw hanging half open and his face creased in a confused frown. “Oh, God, I’m sorry - I didn’t mean to worry you.” Laughing nervously, he pulled his hand back out of his pocket. “I’m fine. I just… I wanted you to know, that’s all.”
Marsaili exhaled, relieved. She ran one hand down his cheek and kissed him softly. He was still trying to reassure her, she realised, wishing that her stupid insecurities didn’t make him feel like he had to pander to her like this. “I do know. And I love you too.”
Suddenly feeling the cold, Marsaili pulled away and rubbed her hands together briskly. It was only four o’clock, but the city skyline was already shrouded in crepuscular light.
“Shall we get home?” she asked, her tone light. “We could order in a pizza or something? Enjoy another big city convenience?”
Will smiled back, although it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Yeah. Sounds lovely.”
They cleared their rubbish into the nearby bin, before heading back down the hillside into the city. Will was careful to keep Marsaili on his left-hand side, her fingers entwined in his, whilst his free hand remained securely thrust into the right-hand pocket of his coat.