Saturday 10 May 2014

Extract from Every Woman For Herself by Trisha Ashely

I'm very lucky today because it is my stop on the Trisha Ashley Blog Tour for Every Woman for Herself, her latest novel...

About Every Woman For Herself – 8th May 2014

When Charlie’s husband Matt tells her that he wants a divorce she has to start from scratch. Suddenly single, broke and approaching 40 she is forced to return to her childhood home in the Yorkshire moors.

Living with her father and eccentric siblings could be considered a challenge but soon Charlie finds her new life somewhat refreshing. Now that she’s single she’s got no need to dye her roots nor to be the perfect wife and she can return to her first love - painting. But just as she begins to feel settled, handsome, bad-tempered actor Mace North moves in down the road and starts mixing things up for Charlie in more ways than one.

‘Trisha Ashley writes with remarkable wit and originality - one of the best writers around!' Katie Fforde

If that hasn't wetted your appetite then perhaps a gorgeous extract from the novel itself will...

It certainly was. I went into the conservatory, locking the door carefully behind me. Although it’s so tiny, once I’m in the middle where my easel and table are, you can’t see me for jungle plants.
Palms, bamboo and bananas, and a fig tree in a big pot . . . Dense foliage and warm, slightly steamy, air.
Matt banged on the glass a few times like a deranged moth, shouting, but I disconnected, picking up a brush and carrying on painting the tiny, naked, cowering figure at the heart of the rampant forest. It looked like Steve, the handsome young gardener at the park, and something threatening was definitely lurking in the undergrowth.
Probably me: I often have lustful thoughts about him when I go there to sketch in the greenhouse, but in reality there is not enough cover to drag him behind even were he willing – and it is one of those ironic twists of fate that as you age you lust after fewer and fewer men, and those are the very ones who wouldn’t look twice at you.
I really should have sown my wild oats before I got married; I fear it is now too late.
Sometimes, too, I wonder if my body wouldn’t have rejected each pregnancy if they hadn’t been fathered by Matt? Perhaps our genes are incompatible?
Too late for that, as well.
Much later I resurfaced to the sound of a familiar loud thud and yelp as Flossie (my spaniel) attempted to walk through the glass door again. But at least if she’d come out of hiding it meant Matt had gone.
Flossie is not big on brains, but she has grasped that Matt hates her, and it’s safest to keep out of his way. Of course she forgets sometimes, especially when overcome by greed, like yesterday morning when she was drooling over his feet at breakfast, and he kicked her when he thought I wasn’t looking.
Later I went up to the bathroom and gave all my big silver rings a vigorous cleaning with his toothbrush and a bit of powdered floor cleaner. The rings came up a treat and I expect his teeth did, too.
Flossie now sat in the dining room outside the conservatory door, looking dazed. (But this is not unusual.) She wagged her tail happily when she saw me coming.
The breakfast debris still littered the table, and Alien Nation had left a note pinned down by the teapot that said he’d had to call a taxi, and if he missed the connection it was my fault.
There was also the name and address of the solicitor who would explain everything to me.
I wish someone would.
Why do I never seem to grasp anything until a couple of years after it’s happened? I never know where I’m going, only where I’ve been.
As Joni Mitchell says, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I only know what I had to start with.
Or do I only know what I think I had to start with? Or did I have what I thought I had, but somehow swapped it for an alien? Could living with me for so long have turned him into an alien?
He was right about one thing – he’s changed, but I don’t think I have very much.
Clearly that was my mistake.
I took stock of my innermost feelings and discovered there weren’t any: I’m a blown egg, all shell and void.
You might hear the sea if you put your ear to me, but that’s about it.

Thanks so much to Trisha Ashley for stopping by and sharing that extract with us. Don't forget to follow Trisha on Twitter for more updates abut Every Woman For Herself and he latest novella, Ginding Mr Rochester. 

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