Hello fellow WIPpeteers and anyone else who’s reading! This is a very special WIPpet Wednesday launch day post. After almost exactly nine long years from when I first started writing The Butterfly Storm to today the 12th June, I can finally say I’m a published author. Cue fanfare and cheering!
So in celebration of that fact I’ve chosen 12 paragraphs from chapter 12. Sophie is back in the UK and is on her way to her old hometown of Bristol in southwest England to visit her best friend Candy. They’ve not seen each other since Sophie moved to Greece to be with Alekos four years before, so their reunion is a celebration in itself.
Heading down the M32, I want it to feel like coming home. Through the coach window I can see Bristol spread out in front, masked by hazy sunshine and, despite its familiarity, there’s no pang of regret or missed heartbeat of longing. My childhood was spent in the city, being handed across the fence to play in our next-door neighbour’s garden. I used to bounce along the uneven pavement on my tricycle, tearing up our terraced street to the park. Ice cream vans would announce their arrival at the top of our road with a squeaky tune, which would send me running from our house with a fifty-pence piece clutched in my palm to exchange for a Fab lolly or one of those ice creams with bubblegum at the bottom. My memories of Bristol were Andy’s newsagents at the bottom of our road selling two sweets for a penny, cars parked bumper to bumper, the smell from the Indian takeaway and terraced gardens filled with barbeque smoke on summer days.
Candy opens the front door of her Victorian terraced house in Redland, lets out a squeal and hugs me. Her face is immaculately made up as always and she looks relaxed in loose cotton trousers and a close-fitting T-shirt, her boobs even bigger than I remember.
At thirteen, Candy went from being flat-chested and spotty, to being 34C and spotty. The spots didn’t seem to matter anymore. Mum said I was blessed with freckles instead of spots. I wasn’t blessed with 34C overnight though. I was a tomboy, happy in jeans and baggy T-shirts, while Candy was a girlie girl. Not only did she have a bust girls envied and boys lusted after and a face that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the cover of Just Seventeen but she had the brains to match. I should have hated her.
‘Shouldn’t we kiss on both cheeks?’ she says, pulling away from me. ‘God, you look healthy. What do you mean no tan!’
‘It’s just brought out my freckles.’
‘Are you kidding me? You look great!’
She ushers me into the hallway and I drop my bag on the polished floorboards and follow her into the open-plan kitchen-diner. Holly, wide-eyed and open-mouthed sits in a high chair dribbling into her bib.
‘Do you want a drink?’ Candy asks. She takes a bottle of red from the wine rack on the work surface next to the six-ringed stainless steel oven. Garlic bulbs and a sprig of bay leaves hang from a hook on the ceiling.
Holly watches me. ‘Yes, please,’ I say, raising my eyebrows and wiggling both hands at Holly.
‘Red or white?’
‘Water for now, please.’
‘Water?’ Candy says, taking a glass and filling it with water from the fridge. ‘That’s not the Sophie Keech I used to know.’
If you’ve not yet seen my Official Launch of The Butterfly Storm! post then have a read to see how you can be in with a chance of winning amazon vouchers. And if you fancy joining in with the WIPpet fun then all you have to do is post an extract of your WIP that relates in some way to the date – you can get creative with this – and add the link of your post to the linky over on WIPpet master, K L Schwengel’s blog. You could also chose to write an opening to a novel… yes, you heard me right, the opening to a completely new novel. Now go and read some fabulous WIPpets from the likes of Raewyn, Elaine, Alana, ReGi, Kathi, Emily, Kate, Jessica, Eden and more, and make sure you check back here later for some more launch day fun.