Bread and crust – sample

Incase you didn’t know, i’m not just a writer but also an author! Over ten years ago I wrote my first full length novel, unpublished until now. I have added the first 6 chapters as a sample over on Amazon:

Also available for pre-order in full:

Both books are available with either cover…..enjoy a further sneak peak below!


Elle was like my own personal cheerleader, constantly rooting for me to find love. As much as she attracted every good looking male on the planet and flirted outrageously in return, she was a romantic at heart. Had been with her boyfriend for 5 years, childhood sweethearts she’d say, a cheesy grin pasted on her face. Elle took the phrase “happiness breeds happiness” to a whole other level; I don’t know which of us was more frustrated with my perpetual state of singledom. But I needed no help in finding a man; the worse ones were always finding me.

Steven was one of them. I’d been on a fast train from Coventry (my parents lived there) into London Euston and so had he. For the first 45 minutes I was able to enjoy silence. No chores that someone wanted me to help out with. Silence, I’d forgotten it existed. You would have too if you’d had Five days listening to my 6 year old half-sister Lola singing. Her ambition couldn’t be faulted though; she was determined to be on X-factor, Pop idol, or any similar show. The age restrictions didn’t faze her nor did the fact that she couldn’t really sing. For five days she hadn’t spoken, she’d sing. I could still hear her now: “Gabryelise, will you help me brush my teeth” or “its bed time, get off the phone line”. Every word was sung and every sentence had rhymed.

I regularly jumped on a train to Coventry to see my mum and step-dad Joe. I had to make visits to show them I still existed, especially when they were contributing to my University fees. Dad had vanished when I was five, taking with him my mums hope that he would pay child maintenance support. I’d called this visit “Yes, I’m still alive; London hasn’t killed or corrupted me yet”. Easter break meant that I couldn’t fob them off with the usual overnight visit. Instead I’d committed myself to five days of virtual insanity. I couldn’t wait to get back to my own place.

Silence. You take it for granted when you have it, only really missing it when it was gone. My silence wasn’t eradicated by noise; I might have actually preferred that. It was destroyed by a look from a stranger watching me across the train carriage. A look I felt before I saw, that’s how disturbing it’d been. It made me accidentally drop the phone I’d been absently spinning in my hand, providing him (Steven) with the perfect opportunity to come over.

He was a guy you could look at and think yea he’s alright. Smart dresser, dimpled cheeks adding character to a face that I’d predicted was about 27 years old. As I said, to look at, he was alright. Every thing else about him was a contradiction. He’d spoken with a St. Vincent lilt. He’d told me his name (my first thought had been “great I’ve attracted a freshie!”) Before proclaiming ‘ya sweet’. It wasn’t a question so I didn’t answer. He’d continued on like he wasn’t expecting me to say anything anyway. ‘Ya sweet, why ya luk soh sad?!’ ok so I was both sweet and sad. I shut my eyes and opened them again, disappointed to find that he was real, and still there.

No longer standing he’d read the flashing green sign on the bag rack above my head which said ‘vacant’ and taken it upon himself to sit down. Stupid Virgin trains, Branson always had to take everything one step further, his state of the art technology depriving me of answering that question ‘is this seat taken?’ With a big fat YES!!! I felt it must have been a communication error because my mind had very much been willing it to change to the word ‘taken’. It needn’t have been flashing or written in red. I would have settled for one plain word. TAKEN!

I’d smiled at him, assured him I wasn’t sad merely tired. He didn’t get the hint but had gone on to ask me where I was headed. Although it’d sounded more like “Weh ya gaan?” I’d shaken my head not understanding and unnecessarily prolonging our conversation. I’d even laughed before answering. (When he’d said it again his accent thickened making it even more indistinguishable.)

‘I’m going home.’

‘Soh why yah luk soh sad foh?’ he’d asked.

‘I’ve got house work to do.’ I’d replied. My one sentence answers weren’t enough of a deterrent.

‘Yah hussban doh kya???’ he was asking me if my husband didn’t care enough to help me.

I’d looked at him and told him I was too young to be married; hoping he’d get the hint this time as he’d missed the last one. Instead, he’d asked me for a kiss (“Yah luk soh sweet. I juss wannah kiss yah. Yah make mi wannah kiss yah!!”), and I’d pretended I couldn’t hear him. He was whispering to me now “Sweet gyal, sweet sweet gyal….” Great I attracted the one guy that had slipped through immigration’s strictly adjusted rules, he wasn’t an asylum seeker but a sanity seeker. I looked out of the window, concentrating on nothing in particular as the speakers played an announcement: “This train is for London Euston. Next station…..London Euston.”

I half stood up, excusing myself so I could grab my overnight bag from the overhead storage. I wanted to get off the train fast so he wouldn’t have an opportunity to follow me. I was too slow. As my feet touched the platform a voice called out from behind me wanting to know my name. I’ll tell him I decided; he can’t do anything with only a first name, and maybe that will satisfy his curiosity.

‘Gabryelise’ that’s all; only my first name tossed over my shoulder as I swiftly walked away, but I wasn’t fast enough to miss him say:

‘Oh ho!! Ah sweet name foh ah sweet gyal, I’ll see yah same time next week!!!’ Typical!