Today is Publication Day for Vicky & Lizzie’s First Period by Andrew Mackay and I am helping to get the word out on it by sharing a sneek peek of part of the first chapter.
All together now…
There were two girls called Vicky & Lizzie
Who kept the Academy busy
Causing trouble and mirth
For all they were worth
Sending teachers right into a tizzy
They kicked-off a false, nasty rumour
That one of the staff was a groomer
For everyone knows
Gossip spreads out and grows
But the school didn’t quite see the humour
Would Vicky & Lizzie regret
All the damage they caused? Nah, not yet
The girls kept on vying
A dangerous precedent was set
Vicky & Lizzie delivered a blitz
On a school at the end of its wits
Did they care? Did they f**k
They were common as muck
Those nasty, vindictive young s#!ts
This might cause upset and uproar
It’s a musical satire, what’s more
For the first time ever
We promise you’ve never
Read anything like this before
So pick up your copy today
Of a story about which you will say
That I wanted to barf
But so hard I did laugh
Vicky & Lizzie have just made my day!
Purchase NOW on Amazon
Here is the sneek peak you have been waiting for:
(The Waddling Gate Theatre)
Mr Foster took to the stage. He stepped behind the podium and adjusted the microphone.
Close to one thousand students sat in rows of chairs in front of the stage.
‘Hello? Is this on?’ Mr Foster’s voice flew around the room at high volume. ‘Can you hear me?
The children squealed and held their fingers in their ears as the feedback wailed back and forth.
‘Ah, good. I thought that might get your attention.’
A teacher stood with the forms at the end of each row of chairs. They surveyed the children in the seats, ensuring they weren’t being disruptive.
‘Shh!’ whispered Mr Holbrook to a row of year eleven students.
Mr Pond, the woodwork teacher, stood at the end of a row of year eleven children. ‘Chloe, be quiet, please!’
‘Sorry, sir!’ She whispered through her chewing gum.
‘Are you chewing, Chloe?’
Vicky and Lizzie giggled to themselves. They watched the feisty multi-coloured hair teenager swallow her chewing gum down.
A morbidly obese girl started sobbing from the second row. She was easy to spot. Her buttocks seemed to try to escape down both sides of the chair.
The fat girl looked up and wiped her eyes. ‘Yes, sir?’
‘Are you crying gravy?’ Mr Foster lost his patience. ‘Stop doing that, you super-sized wench. You’re putting me off.’
Mr Foster rolled his shoulders and cleared his throat. Belinda’s crying died down and he began the assembly.
‘It’s been brought to my attention just now that a few rumours are going around the school about Mr Galigan, from Geography. I’d like to remind you all that rumours are nothing but vindictive attempts to muddy the truth. They will not be tolerated.’
Stevie’s hand went up in the air. ‘But, sir!’
‘What is it now?’
‘We want to know what happened. Where is Layla?’
‘That’s not up for discussion, Stevie,’ Mr Foster said, somewhat annoyed by the interruption. ‘It is none of your concern. Layla Quick has been relocated to another school while the police continue their investigation. That’s all anyone need know at the moment.’
‘Sir!’ Another hand went into the air. It belonged to Freddie al-Burhan, in year eleven.
‘Why is Mr Galigan not here?’
‘He’s had a family matter to attend to. A temp has been appointed until he’s back.’
‘He’s not been suspended, then?’
Mr Foster raised his eyes in suspicion. Faced with the unenviable task of either lying to save his colleague’s face, or imparting the truth (a value which he and the school upheld most sincerely) he chose the former.
‘Okay. Thanks, sir.’
‘Any other questions before I continue?’ Mr Foster surveyed the ocean of adolescent faces before him.
‘No? Good. So, this week, our key word is motivation. The derivation of which comes from the Latin cognition, meaning the way the brain processes information…’
The teachers at the end of each row, including Mr Parker, folded their arms. The children looked utterly confused as Mr Foster continued his lecture.
Vicky scanned each teacher one-by-one and muttered under her breath. ‘Mr Pond… Mr Parker… Mr Bloom…’
Lizzie caught her friend sizing up each teacher. ‘What are you doing?’
‘Shut up, I’m thinking,’ Vicky whispered and returned to the teachers behind her. ‘Mr Sinclair… Quack-Quack… Mr Langham…’
Mr Bloom snapped his fingers at Vicky. ‘Psst. Vicky!’
She turned to him and offered her innocence. ‘Huh?’
‘Be quiet and listen, Hopper.’
‘Sorry, sir…’ She leaned back in her chair and faced the stage. Her brain worked overtime.
Join Andrew Mackay on Facebook for a virtual launch party TONIGHT for a selection of author takeovers and giveaways.
17:00 – 20:00 CST (5:00-8:00 PM CST; 6:00-9:00 EST)
The party will be here. Come join in on the fun!
About the Author:
Some authors are afraid to cross the line.
Me? Oh, I’m glad you asked! I make “the line” my starting point…
My brand is satire.
I hop between genres like madman on crack because my razor-sharp literary knife is hungry for political and social commentary. One genre just can’t cut it (if you’ll forgive the pun.) I’m obsessed, I tell you!
I write straight-up humor and farce, horror, crime, romance… all under the banner of satire.
My novels often contain a ruthless commentary on society, delving into the darker machinations of modern life. They can be uproarious, funny, outrageous and shocking. Make no mistake, though. They are this way for a reason, and always come equipped with a sense of humanity and wit.
My influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe, Kurt Vonnegut, James Patterson, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Michael Frayn, Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Jordan Peterson, Pat Condell, and writer/director Larry Cohen.
My obsessions include (and are essentially limited to) obscene amounts of: smoking, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, debating, daydreaming and writing about himself in the third person.
Today I am one of the blog spots on the blog tour for The Abandoned by Sharon Thompson. The publisher is Bloodhound Books. The publication date for The Abandoned was January 25th. I will be sharing an excerpt from the novel.
Peggy Bowden has not had an easy life. As a teenager her mother was committed to an asylum and then a local priest forced her into an abusive marriage. But when her husband dies in an accident Peggy sees an opportunity to start again and trains as a midwife.
In 1950s Dublin it is not easy for a woman to make a living and Peggy sees a chance to start a business and soon a lucrative maternity home is up and running. But when Peggy realizes that the lack of birth control is an issue for women, she uses their plight as a way to make more money. Very soon Peggy is on the wrong side of the law.
What makes a woman decide to walk down a dark path? Can Peggy ever get back on the straight and narrow? Or will she have to pay for her crimes?
Set against the backdrop of Ireland in the 1950’s The Abandoned tells the story of one woman’s fight for survival and her journey into the underbelly of a dangerous criminal world.
I knew the stranger at my door would cry. All that curled blonde hair and her clinging to a navy handbag. I was surprised her type still found me.
‘Peggy?’ she asked.
A gloved hand steadied her on the door frame, and I moved to let her inside. Thanks be to God she didn’t embarrass us both on the doorstep. A busy Dublin street is not the place for a woman to weep and wail about her lot.
‘I was sent by –’
I lifted my hungover hand to stop her. ‘No names. You’re lucky. My medicines room is free at the minute.’
Perfect curls danced under her fancy hat when she nodded. Then, sweet Christ, it started. Like I knew it would. Big tears, plopping down onto those pale cheeks, blue eyes begging me for sympathy. I know I’m hardened to a great deal, but tears are tough to ignore.
‘How far along are you?’
‘This way,’ I said. There was no sound from upstairs. My two girls must have been sleeping rather than humping.
This blonde one had a slim behind with no bulge out in front. A navy skirt snipped in at the waist and a grey jacket that I’d have liked myself over her cream blouse all ironed and silky looking. She knew how to look after herself, and someone had raised the money quick-smart; by the looks of her, she seemed much the age of myself. Hitting thirty, she was, and she should’ve had more sense than to need me.
She watched me intently, despite the tears; my bleached hair not to her standards and me with a tattered apron on to hide my tight knitted jumper and straight skirt.
‘You sure you’re in bother?’ I asked, turning the key and creaking open the door to my medicines room.
That nodding started again and more snivelling. Slim shoulders rising and falling as she trembled to her very knees.
‘Don’t be crying.’ I thought of the money. ‘Please.’ I became as gentle as you like and used the midwife’s face that I’ve practiced over the years.
An odd time, I wonder why and how they have come to this. I know though that most of them are married and visit me more than once. Burdened with too many. Used to spreading their legs and having life or death removed from their groins. But these girls are different. They’re damaged either by themselves or somebody else. I probably hurt them again, but, sure, that’s business. I can’t think of every one of them.
‘It’ll be grand. We’ll sort things. Stop the crying.’
I pointed at the high bed in the middle of the room. Light for my work comes in the tall window, with the flash of an odd pigeon behind the net curtain. It’s not a palace, but it will do for now.
The Angelus rang out, and we blessed ourselves. Looking down, I prayed to Our Lady and St Brigid for blessings and guidance. I’ve given up on forgiveness.
There before me when my eyes opened were expensive navy shoes with elegant straps. They were just the perfect height for dancing.
‘Where did you get them?’
‘Sligo town…’ A handkerchief muffled the name of the shop. But sure, I wasn’t going all the way back to Sligo for a pair of dainty shoes. She’d come as far as myself, but she’d most likely go back.
‘Got money for this?’
The tiny gold clasp clicked open. She took out an envelope that bulged like my eyes. I tried not to snatch it. Country girls always have the right amount. Honest as the day is long. I left the twenty pounds on the dresser, under the mirror out of harm’s way, and pointed again to the bed. The greyish sheet was changed – this morning had left its mark.
The modest way this one removed her skirt and panties made me chuckle. As if I’d never seen my own bits and pieces. Gently, she placed her hat on the chair where I usually plonk my basin. But I said nothing and went about getting my business ready. With my back to her, she sobbed, and I thought of the last time she might have had something inside her.
I never ask questions, but sometimes, they tell me it all, hoping to make it all better. But we all know it’s never that simple.
There was a nice smell from her – calm as lavender, and smooth and fresh like face cream. You could tell the way she looked about the room that she was well raised. She knew her manners. That perfect nose wrinkled in displeasure but not disgust.
Her slim hands still trembled as I told her to come to edge of the bed. I lifted her knees and encouraged them to flop out to the sides. My syringe was full of the concoction that would either solve her ills or make them worse. Who knew?
Sometimes, it takes no time at all to prod the wire and the rubber tubing in. Many don’t say a word or bless themselves and pray throughout. Others cry. Mostly, I don’t notice anymore. But with this pretty, young one, something didn’t feel right. She barely spoke. Even the rich one’s ramble, making excuses for their decision. This one seemed sure in her quest. Her eyes held tears, but as she curled her fingers into a fist, I felt no remorse off her, and it dawned on me she needed this badly. Pity flooded me, and there’s nothing I hate more than pity. I felt it wouldn’t be the last I’d see of her, and this worried me. Something deep in my gut told me she was a bad omen.
‘I’ll have to get myself some shoes like those,’ I said.
She sniffed and murmured her agreement.
‘Do you dance?’
‘I love the dances in the Gresham. Haven’t gone much since…I came here.’
‘I don’t feel like dancing,’
Her blonde curls splayed on the pillow, and she faced right towards the window. ‘I hate everything these days.’ She shuddered either with fear or cold.
‘Those shoes, now, sure you couldn’t hate them?’
She didn’t answer me. I did what I could for her. It all went grand until she was readying herself to leave. I couldn’t help staring and saw no ring on her finger.
Suddenly, she touched my arm. She came closer and said, ‘Thank you. You saved me. You must save so many.’
Something cracked. All I knew about myself shifted. It was the way she did it. I couldn’t look at her.
‘You go now. Wait for the bleeding and the pains to start. Don’t come back here.’
With a zip and a swoosh, she was dressed. Sheathed in the jacket, she reached for her hat; the loud wobble of the chair breaking the silence when the hat was moved.
I was worried for her more than most. ‘My work is over, but sometimes, women need tablets for infections. You’re a clever girl – you should know if things are right down below.’
Her voice shook as she sat to fidget with buckles. ‘Yes. Thank you.’
I couldn’t wait to get rid of her. A lingering sense of all that I knew shattered before me. She’d shaken me to the core of myself. I trembled and opened the latch on the front door. I couldn’t speak. She got to the footpath and walked away.
Closing the door, I felt like a woman who steals souls for money. I normally don’t think on it much at all. I just know I am a criminal bitch who lives in the gutter.
It was never about saving anyone; I just needed the cash, they needed the service. Now, my heart is split with the torture of them all. All of them who’ve needed me and them in a bad way. Those who I thought nothing of at all. I can’t cast my mind to it. I simply can’t. That bitch made me a saviour and made it all too big a deal.
‘God takes and gives life,’ the priest says.
I was always told it was wrong, but this one muddied my waters, unstilled what has been right for so long.
‘Women always do the best with what they are given,’ Mammy would say.
I did my best, but now, I feel like I’m going fucking mad.
About the Author:
Sharon Thompson lives in Donegal, Ireland. She is a member of Imagine, Write, Inspire. This is a writing group, under the mentorship of HarperCollins author Carmel Harrington. Sharon’s short stories have been published in various literary magazines and websites. #WritersWise is her collaboration with writer, Dr Liam Farrell. This is a trending, fortnightly, promotional tweet-chat with corresponding Facebook page and website. Its mission is to encourage and support writers to reach as wide an audience as possible. Although she mostly writes crime fiction, Sharon does have a fun-side and she writes the quirky Woman’s Words column for the Donegal Woman website.
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager. I will be sharing an excerpt of the novel.
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.
I took a drink of water, and it dribbled down my chin. Lovely—I was sure all the girls at the country club drooled openly. Brendon walked over to my side of the court and asked if he could have some of my water because he had finished his sports drink. I never share drinks since I saw a story on the news about how meningitis was spread through stuff like that, but I handed him the bottle. I was surprised he’d want to drink after me, but maybe he was a step away from dehydrating, and it was between sharing my spit or death.
“Wanna quit?” he asked. I nodded and went to change. There was only one other girl in the locker room as I washed up and pulled my hair up. I went out to meet Brendon, and he asked if I wanted to get some frozen yogurt. I started to answer when the girl in the locker room came out behind me.
“Hey, stranger. Haven’t seen you around lately,” she said, putting her hand on Brendon’s arm.
“Hey, Cassie,” he said.
“What have you been up to?” she asked.
I’ve seen dogs chase the mail carrier with more dignity. Brendon shrugged and said he had been busy. He introduced me, and her eyes darted over to me just long enough to size me up. I hated girls who acted like having another female in the room was competition.
“Well, give me a call sometime,” she said, walking away.
What was her problem? She didn’t know whether or not we were dating. It was like it didn’t matter if I was his girlfriend or not because I wasn’t “good enough.”
About the Author:
Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Best Sellers award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Blanc View, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.
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Praise for Dating the It Guy:
“Dating the It Guy is an entertaining story that is as absorbing as it is hilarious.” Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite
“A satisfying YA romance that is really about growing up and learning how to deal with life.” Writing Pearls book review blog
“There is so much to love about this book. Krysten Lindsay Hager knows how teens think and speak, and she understands why Emme would feel overwhelmed by everything about Brendon – his looks, his popularity, his feelings for her, his exes, his family.” Vox libris: the voice of books book review blog