No one would ever accuse me of being obsessively neat or tidy, or worrying that the house is a mess and people might be shocked to see it. But one thing I’ve never done is let readers see the messy, first draft of a manuscript. Dirty washing, dirty plates and dirty rooms don’t worry me. Dirty drafts? Yeah, that terrifies me.

So please understand how brave I’m being to show you this. There are spelling errors, grammatical errors, typos and…the story hasn’t been plotted out at all. You’re seeing an extract from this book in all its rough mess.

What’s the book about? Well, it’s the fourth story in the Sunday Night Dinner Club series, and focuses on the only married couple in the club, Zoey and Theo Hughes.

Things have been shaky between them for a while. Their marriage is headed for a major collapse, and this is the scene where everything comes to a head:

Leaving-at-Noon453

Leaving at Noon: A very rough excerpt:

By the time he’d climbed out of the car, stalked down the garden path and reached the front door, his apprehension had turned to anger.

What the fuck?

Theo didn’t pretend to be quiet when he let himself in. He slammed the door and turned on the light in the entryway. Once he’d tossed his keys and her bag on the table, eliciting two satisfying clangs, he walked through the house, turning on every light he passed.

Zoey wasn’t in the lounge. Nor was she in the dining room or kitchen. Frustration bit at him, and he smashed his fist on the kitchen counter. The bang resounded off the walls and cupboards.

She wasn’t in the either of the spare rooms—his temporary home office and hers, until they had kids—which meant, if Zoey was indeed home, and Liv seemed to think she was, there was only one place she could be.

The bedroom door was open. Riding a wave of fear, fury and frustration, Theo kicked it, ramming it into the wall. It bounced back at him, and he kicked again for good measure, hard as he could. The wood splintered against his foot.

Theo didn’t give a shit. He whacked his hand against the switch, and light flooded the room.

Zoey gaped at him from her side of the bed, her jaw hanging open, her eyes wide with shock.

At least, for once, she wasn’t pretending to sleep.

“Are you crazy?” she demanded.

“What. The. Fuck?” Breath sawed from his chest.

She blinked. “Excuse me?”

Theo pointed in the general direction of his car. His hand—which he was surprised to notice held his phone—still shook. “I have just spent the last hour looking for you. Driving up and down the streets of Sydney.”

She sat up, glaring. “Well, you found me. Right here, where I asked Levi to tell you I’d be.”

Yeah, that was true. Levi had told him she’d gone home. On foot.

“I drove to and from Chelsea’s, three times, searching for you.”

Unmoved, Zoey set her lips in a straight, angry line.

He held up his iPhone to show her, clenching it so tight, he cracked the protective cover. “I called you. Over and over and over. Couldn’t get hold of you.”

Zoey narrowed her eyes, then said unrepentantly. “I was on the phone.”

Rage lit his veins. Theo squeezed his mobile tighter. The damaged cover pinched the skin of his middle finger, and stinging pain shot through him. Hard as he could, he hurled the phone against the far wall.

It shattered on impact.

Zoey jerked in shock. Then she schooled her features in a bland mask. “Feel better?”

“Not even a bit.”

“The phone was what? Four months old?”

“I thought you’d been hurt. Broken a leg maybe.” He’d thought worse. Way, way worse. “Taken. Attacked.” Twisted visions of rape had haunted him for an hour, intensifying with every passing moment. His breath was uneven and his back damp with sweat.

—————–

K, that’s it. All I’m brave enough to show you.

*Wipes sweat from brow*

Leaving at Noon releases on the 22nd of May. You can pre-order it now at:

SmashwordsBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo

(It’s not up at Amazon yet – but it will be soon.)

🙂

Jess

 

 

 

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