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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Books by Jillian Brookes-Ward

SAVING NATHANIEL

Businessman Nathaniel Mackie has lived alone for 4 years following the deaths of his wife and baby, a tragedy for which he blames himself. His struggle to maintain a rapidly deteriorating veneer of normality has left him emotionally exhausted and unbalanced.

When Mackie’s housekeeper has an accident that leaves her unable to work, she persuades her older sister Megan to substitute for her.


Megan is kind-hearted and confident and her compassionate nature quickly allows her to bond with the troubled man. Soon events begin to unfold that reveal the true depth of his unresolved grief and guilt. With gentle guidance and support from Megan, Mackie slowly begins to come to terms with his past.


All too soon, it is time for Megan to leave, and the extent of Mackie’s growing dependence on, and affection for her becomes apparent. How will he cope without her stabilising influence, and to what lengths is he willing to go to get her back?
Extracts from Chapter One

She was wet. She was cold. She was late.
‘And what time do you call this?’
With a loud squeal, she wheeled around, her hand to her throat and her eyes wide, seeking the source of the voice. She found it, seated at the kitchen table. Leaning back in his chair, arms folded across his chest, a man peered at her over a pair of reading glasses, his face carrying an expression of quiet amusement. ‘Good morning,’ he said.
Megan gaped at him. ‘You’re not supposed to be here…’ she gasped, ‘…why are you here?’
‘Because it’s my house,’ the man said as if addressing a half-wit, ‘and if you’re no’ who I think you are one of us is in serious trouble.’
A drop of water ran down Megan’s nose and clung to the tip and she brushed it away with a flick of her hand. The man reached behind and opened a drawer, pulled out a tea towel and tossed it over the table to her. She mumbled a guarded ‘thank you’, and he waited patiently as, hardly taking her eyes from him, she dried her hands and face and stemmed a rivulet of water that leaked from her hairline.
‘So, would I be wrong in assuming you’re my housekeeper’s sister…er,’ he pulled a scrap of paper from his shirt pocket and squinted at it, ‘Megan?’
Megan nodded. ‘That’s alright,’ she said ‘but I think I should…’
‘…I, on the other hand,’ Mackie continued, ‘feel it is only reasonable I should tell you whether I will be at home or no’. I tend to go away at short notice and it can be for a couple of days at a time.’
Megan nodded again. ‘Fair enough.’
‘The same working hours will stand; weekdays only; weekends by arrangement.’
‘Then there’ll be no problem, will there? Have I made everything clear?’
He pushed back the chair as he stood to go. ‘Welcome to Struan Lodge, Megan Thomas,’ he said. ‘I hope you don’t find your time here too…arduous.’
He tucked his newspaper under his arm and walked out leaving behind the faintest trace of his cologne. Megan’s nostrils flared as the scent tickled something deep within her and a small smile played on her lips.

About Jillian Brookes-Ward

Jillian hails originally from the north of England but is now resident in beautiful Royal Deeside in Scotland.



A 48-year-old mother of three, she is a full time homemaker, with her retired husband and teenage son at home.


She began writing at school, winning her school’s annual essay competition in 1974 and 1975. Although, as yet, unpublished, she has written many short stories and her first full length novel – Saving Nathaniel – is complete. Her second - Linda Loves…? - is nearing completion.


When she is not taking care of her family or writing, Jillian’s interests include walking her dog in the woods near her home, listening to good music and occasionally, a spot of fly-fishing.


Jillian has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science and is an AMSPAR qualified Medical Secretary.




Linda Loves…?
Contains strong language and sexual scenes


Linda loves two very different men. She cannot choose one over the other, as between them they make up one perfect man.

Linda is married to Tom, a happy-go-lucky, spontaneous, passionate blokes' bloke. While out walking her dog, she meets gentle, thoughtful and lonely Adam. The two strike up a friendship, which soon turns into an affair.

She spends time each day with Adam and her weekends and nights with Tom. All is bliss until Adam falls ill.

To add to the already complicated situation, Linda falls pregnant. But who is the father, and will the two men be able to put aside their differences for the sake of the woman in their lives?





Extracts from Chapter One

‘Archie!’ she called. ‘Come on, boy. Where are you?’

Linda peered deep into the bushes but could see no sign of her dog. ‘Archie? Come out of there. Arch?’
Another yowl was the reply. She followed the line of the fence, hoping to find a place where the barbed wire was loose and might allow her access to the Oak Wood and her dog. There was none. It was a well-maintained fence. ‘I’m coming, Archie. Mummy’s coming.’
Carefully avoiding the sharp barbs, she placed her hands on the wire and pushed down on it, creating a slight dip.
She raised her right leg and by hopping, managed to straddle the fence, her backside brushing the short metal spikes. She felt around with her foot until her toes touched the ground on the other side. She was about to pull her left leg over when a robust Scots voice made her freeze.
‘Hey! You! Get off that fence…right now!’
Linda twisted her head around to look over her shoulder. A gruff looking man in a heavy waxed coat strode at a brisk pace up the path towards her. She saw, to her consternation, the shotgun he had cradled over one arm.
‘I said get off the fence, young woman. You’re damaging it.’ The frowning man came to a halt in front of her. ‘Just what do you think you’re doing? That side of the fence is private property. You can’t go in.’
‘But my dog…’
‘…shouldn’t be in there either.’
Linda shifted her position so she could feel the ground with her tiptoes on either side of the fence. She could not maintain her pressure on the wire, and it sprang taut again. She felt a sharp pain in her buttock as a barb pierced her trousers, pricked her skin and then snagged on the material. ‘Ow! Ah, crap. Ow!’
With care, the man laid his gun on the ground. He stuck out his hand and Linda grabbed at it, accepting his assistance. The hand felt rough and calloused, but warm and strong. They held onto each other tightly as Linda attempted to extricate herself from the fence without tearing either her trousers or her skin. She found she could not.
‘For goodness sake, woman. Put your arms around my neck and I’ll lift you off.’
‘I’ll do no such thing…I don’t even know you. How do I know you’re not just after a quick grope?’
He let go of her hand and shrugged. ‘Then stay impaled. It’s your choice.’ He turned his back as if he meant to leave her stranded.
The barb poked her in the bottom again and she squealed. ‘No…no, don’t go. Okay, okay – help me please.’
The man leaned over the fence, his face so close to her she could smell the soap he had used to wash. She looked briefly into his grey eyes, and one hand at a time, put her arms around his neck and clung on to the collar of his coat. He put his hands under her buttocks and gently, but firmly lifted her clear of the encumbrance, setting her safely on her feet.
*
‘Good walk?’ called Tom from the sitting room.
‘Very nice thanks.’ Linda leaned her hand against the rear doorjamb to steady herself as she took off her boots.
Archie scampered to his corner of the kitchen to ensure that his food had not been touched in his absence, and to avail himself a long drink from his water bowl. His thirst slaked, he climbed into his bed and settled down for a nap.
Linda hung up her coat and washed her hands. She discovered her husband exactly where she had left him an hour and a half before. He was studying the computer’s monitor intently.
‘Are you alright?’ She bent and tenderly kissed his cheek, curling her arms around his neck.
He smiled up at her. ‘As ever,’ he said.
‘What are you looking at?’ She kissed his ear and down his neck. He shrugged as her lips tickled him.
‘Car porn…’ He pointed to the air intakes on a gaudily coloured rally car. ‘Look at the pipes on that!’
She gave his shoulder a playful slap. ‘Tom Lewis, you are nothing short of a vehicular pervert.’ She wandered back into the kitchen. ‘Lunch won’t be long.’
‘Where did you go?’ Tom called.
‘We went on the Castle park path by way of a change.’ Linda took a can of soup from the cupboard. ‘Chicken soup okay?’
‘Fine.’
She fastened it to the can opener and twisted the handle.
‘Did you see anything interesting?’ said Tom.
‘No…just a couple of squirrels. Archie chased a rabbit…’ she emptied the contents of the can into a pan and switched on the stove. ‘…and I got myself stuck on a fence.’
She picked up a tray, collected cutlery from the drawer, a napkin and condiments and took them through to Tom.
‘Arms up.’ Tom lifted his arms clear as Linda clipped the tray to the arms of his wheelchair.

To read Saving Nathaniel in full click here or here. It had  recently been selected for publication by Night Publishing.


To read Linda Loves...? click here or here.
First chapters of both books can be read in full on the Night Publishing website.
If you want to agent Jillian Brookes-Ward or contact her for any reason relating to her books contact her by email: j.brookesward@btinternet.com.
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