Update March 2022

I read a quote on Facebook today that said given everything that is happening in the world right now let us all hope that somewhere a little hobbit is running towards Mordor. If you see that hairy footed little angle please stop and give him a lift so the world can be done with this soon.

On a brighter note, it is Autumn here in Perth, the leaves are falling from the trees, the weather is finally cooling and we are planning our winter garden beds. Bring on rainy soup days.

I am currently proofreading – Love Heals the Heart, book three in my multi-protagonist series Shades of Love. It is almost there, perhaps not as steamy as the first two, but that is love. Love comes in many shades and I hope that you the reader will see how love can heal (it also breaks us, that has been addressed in this story of Meg as well).

Since I was last here I have joined TikTok what an honest joy of a time suck it is, I love it and if you are on there pop over and say hi you will find me at https://www.tiktok.com/@vanessamckayauthor.

All my books are currently available in Kindle Unlimited – here in the Amazon store. You can find my paperbacks where all good books are sold. Alternatively you can read my books here, simply subscribe to my newsletter and I will upload chapters of Allison, the first in my series each week for your reading pleasure. This is a bit spicy in parts, it is a fast paced romantic suspense. Enjoy!

Allison – by Vanessa McKay

First Edition 2020

Today is the end of Allison and Gavin’s romance, they were teenage sweethearts but tonight it is time for Allison to step out into the world alone.

Chapter One


She hated Friday nights. She hated the circle of friends that had sprung up around them. They talked of money, travel, cars, designer houses, and portfolios. It was an effort for Ally to fit in. These were not her people. She hated to see how easily he fitted into their foreign world.


Gavin made his way through the crowd of the Blue Monkey towards her. She could hardly recognise the man she loved. This guy was mostly a jerk. He absently handed her a tall gin and tonic while laughing too loudly at the punch line to Darren’s joke. Ally was not so amused.

‘Misogynistic arse,’ she murmured.

Gavin turned to give her his full attention. ‘Sorry, did you say something?’
‘Yes, I said that he is a misogynistic arse. Can we go?’ She gulped at her drink.
 

He took hold of her elbow and led her through the double doors to the deserted dining room and spun her around to face him.
‘I am so damn sorry, Allison, that my friends offend you, but at least they are trying to have a good time. I appreciate that you least dressed for the occasion, you do look stunning. I just wish you would act as good as you look.’ He ran his hands through her hair. ‘You have the potential to be so much more than you are, but you reveal nothing. The truth is that you show no personality, nothing. You just do not engage with other people. These are my friends, and they could be your friends too. But you must put some effort into it. Go home if you want to, you can take the car. I will catch a lift.’
‘So that is it, you are not coming home then?’ Ally stood taller to catch his eyes.
‘It’s so simple, Ally. I want to stay, but you want to leave. I would like you to stay and enjoy yourself, but if you don’t want to stay, that is fine too. Go home. I will see you there.’ He released her arm.
‘You are really not coming home then?’ She searched his face, but his eyes were already elsewhere.
‘Ally, please, do not make a scene. We can talk at home. Do you want me to walk you to the car?’ His hand was on her shoulder; she felt like a child being scolded and sent to her room for not fitting in.

Allison shrugged out of his hold, crossed her bag strap over her body, and retreated past Gavin’s bank teller mates into the chilled June night air of Perth. It was too late to turn back by the time she realised she had caught the bus into town to meet him and she had no idea where Gavin had parked the car. She waved down a cab, and ten short minutes later she was home. In their bathroom, she undressed while the hot water gushed into their china-blue bath. Ally discarded the dress on the floor, the water soaked her straightened hair back to its natural curls, and with her oatmeal scrub Ally washed the fake off.


When the water had cooled, she dressed in Gavin’s striped pyjamas that were an annual Christmas gift from his grandmother he never used. Ally had modified them to suit her. He had once thought it was cute. Sexy, even. She had no idea what he thought of her now.

Outside, the rain traced beads on the windows. Ally sat on the window seat with her journal in hand, pouring her heart out onto the crisp pages, arranging her thoughts so that she could see straight. When she reached a decision she stopped, but the rain kept coming, as the black night sky gave way to the grey sunrise.

Gavin slid out of the taxi, slipping his hand from Deborah’s. Ally waited until he had showered and was drying himself to call his name.
‘Hey sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.’ He crossed the room to kiss her, and she let him. She soaked up the innocence of the act. So many kisses. Lost.
‘Late night,’ he continued. ‘We lost track of time. You didn’t wait up for me, did you?’
‘Yes, but it is okay. Gavin, we need to talk.’
‘Can it wait until I get some sleep,’ he said, avoiding her eyes.
‘No, Gavin, I need to talk now. Just listen. This won’t be hard.’ She took a deep breath. ‘I could give you a long spiel about it being me and not you. That I just need some space, need to find myself, but that would be a lie. I don’t want to lie to you, Gavin. We have always been truthful with each other, and I want it to stay that way. The truth is, Gavin, you have changed, and I dislike the person you have become.’ Ally exhaled. There, it is done, she thought.
‘What? Where is this coming from? I am late home one night and you want to leave me? Is that what you are saying? Allison, be reasonable!’
‘It is not one night, it is everything, and it is the way that you are now. Your car, your clothes, your books, your goals, your finances, that fucking stereo that I am not supposed to touch that costs four times more than my car.’
‘Okay, I will buy you a new car,’ said Gavin.
‘You are not listening. You never listen to me. I never wanted a blue leather lounge. I am a vegetarian, for fuck’s sake. You never consider me, you never ask me what I want. What are my dreams and goals, Gavin? You never ask me about anything anymore. I can’t even choose my own clothes or hairstyle. Suddenly you cannot accept me for who I am. You won’t let me be who I want to be. You want me to be who you want me to be,’ said Ally.

He rubbed the back of his neck. His mouth was dry. ‘Ally, we are not kids anymore.’

She watches him move into the kitchen and take two paracetamols from the fruit bowl and wash them down with a coke he pulled from the fridge. ‘You need to grow up, Allison,’ he said.
‘What if I do not intend to grow up the way you want me to, Gavin? What if I like the person I am? What if I am already doing what I want to do?’
‘Do you really think singing will ever get you anywhere? Ally, one of us at least has to be realistic; you cannot support a family on a pipe dream.’
‘Why not? After Dad left that is all we had, and we managed pretty well. The money that my mum left us, money that she made from singing, is money that we have invested in this house. That is singing money, Gavin, and if my mum can do it, why the hell can’t I? I am younger than she was when she started, I don’t have multiple sclerosis, and I won’t be left high and dry by a bastard of an ex-husband.’
‘We can work this out, Ally,’ he offered meekly.
‘No, Gavin, we are finished. Please do not make this harder than it has to be by trying to pretend we can fix this.’

‘So, what happens now?’
‘I am going to Renee’s. She is looking for a flatmate. You can have everything here. I will come to get my stuff on Monday, and I would appreciate it if you can arrange for me to have what is left of my mum’s money. I will send you my account details when I have it sorted. I am sorry, Gavin.’
‘Are you really leaving me?’
‘Gavin, you must realise that I have to. It was good, it got shit, and now it is done. I will be a singer, a writer, a whatever I choose! I am not a banker’s wife. I don’t want to be paraded out on the weekends. That dress you bought me is not me. It never will be me. Gavin, if that is the kind of girl you want, that girl will never be me,’ said Ally.


He considered her for a moment, nodding his head as he conceded that she was no longer the girl that turned him on. When they were younger, her impulsive wildness, her sense of adventure, and her free spirit had captivated and enticed him. He had been under her spell, and he was her hero. Now he was just one of those people that she didn’t like. It hurt that she saw him that way, but at the same time he enjoyed being who he was. He enjoyed being with Deborah, and he liked that she had enjoyed him too.


‘Ally, I am so sorry,’ he said. ‘I will always love you, you are my best friend, my family. Understand that I will always be here for you, no matter what.’ He held out his arms a final time to hold her. He held her close to his chest and breathed in the sandalwood scent of her hair. A tear fell onto her crown. Once composed, he let his childhood sweetheart, and his first love, go.


Renee opened the door before Ally had the chance to knock, arms open wide ready to console her friend. It had surprised her when the call had come. Ally and Gavin had been the ‘it’ couple back at high school. Everyone thought they would have kids and two dogs by the time they were thirty.


Her composure gone, Ally sobbed. She let Renee lead her through the house to her new room. It was white-walled, bare, with a new beige carpet. A blank canvas. Furnished only with a bed her friend had quickly made up and a box of tissues. Ally took in the sight of her new home with forced optimism but dissolved into tears again.


It was Sunday afternoon before Allison emerged from her room, exhausted but ready to meet her new housemates. She had already met David, Renee’s boyfriend, but Scott, who was on a trip around the world and was stopping off to work and raise some much need travel capital, was new to her. They exchanged pleasantries over coffee in the garden.


The following day, Renee and Ally exchanged glances as they traded places in the dimly lit waiting room of Nausheen’s. Renee had thought that a psychic reading that predicted her promising future would go a long way at cheering up her new housemate. Renee’s own reading had left her feeling more than a little miffed by the prediction concerning her current relationship, but she still hoped that Ally would fare better.


The old woman gestured for Ally to take the seat across from her own.
‘Shuffle, please.’ Naursheen handed her a deck of tarot cards, soft with use. Ally obeyed.
‘Cut them twice with your left hand,’ the woman continued.
‘Are you planning a trip to London? I can see that you are approaching the double green doors of Heathrow Airport with a brown, faux leather backpack, a notebook, and music. There is a man looking away, he is in your past, a finished relationship. There is a second man looking your way. Be wary of this one. Look forward, there is a third man waiting for you. Take care in what you do until he finds you. Find you he will. I am sure of it. Make sure you are available to avoid unnecessary delays to your future happiness. He is very handsome with sandy-brown hair and ocean-green eyes, and he will make you feel that you have come home. This is your true love, the man you will grow old with. This man will help you shed light on the shadows of your past, he will help you see your own true worth, he is the one who will close the door on your demons and open up a window to the future. I don’t mean a little toilet window, this is a large bay window coming off a conservatory of delights.’ Naursheen giggled.

 
Patiently Ally waited for her to continue. All she heard was, ‘You will meet a man, blah blah blah.’ Fortune tellers always said the same thing. Her mum had been a skeptical believer too. She had told Ally that there were truths and wishes in every reading, but not every wish ever came true. Naursheen ended the silence. ‘Your mother says to use the money to travel the world, be free.’
Tears welled in Ally’s eyes. ‘Is my mum all right there on the other side?’
Naursheen listened.
‘She is happy, pain free, and at peace. Music surrounds her. She says to take your warm tweed coat to England.’ Naursheen looked over the cards. ‘Your mother has told me to say that nothing lasts forever, no matter how awful. What happens at the end is ultimately up to you. You control the things that affect you, the depth of hurt that you cling to. Remember, everything is temporary.’
‘Even death?’ asked Ally.
‘Yes, even death.’
‘What is on the other side?’
‘The other side? My girl, we are all on the same side. We are all where we should be, and we will all be given the opportunity to do what we were meant to do. Good luck to you, and do not worry. Your future will be wonderful. Take care and go with loving blessings.’


‘Well?’ Renee stood up as Ally entered the waiting room.
‘You first.’ Ally smiled.
‘Rubbish. Apparently, if I marry David, we should never have children because it won’t last. She said we will only last as long as we have been. I ask you, what does that even mean? The woman talks in riddles. Gran came all the way from the other side of crap knows where to tell me she doesn’t like my new haircut and my butt is too big for leggings! Honestly, can you believe the gall?’
‘Renee, I am surprised at you being outraged by a bit of make believe. She was vague with me too. Like you said, the woman talks in riddles and makes no bloody sense.’

© Copyright 2020 by Vanessa McKay – All rights reserved: It is not legal to reproduce, duplicate or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited; Published by Tea Time Press: E-book: ISBN: 978-0-6488713-1-6: Trade Paperback: ISBN: 978-0-6488713-0-9

Remember to like and subscribe to be kept up to date with new chapters every week.

Until next time, happy reading.

Monthly Update for August 2021

Here we are in August after a very wet July here in Perth WA, there is snow on Bluff Knoll today and I would very much like to be taking the four hour drive down south to climb the look out, and wear in my new trekking boots. Sigh… but duty calls and ties me to my desk. The Bluff Knoll trek will have to be set aside for another day.

A new addition to our household arrived earlier this year. We took in a Cane Corso, he needed a new home as he neediness and appetite was too much for his young family. He is six years old, and is the loveliest, most protective, loyal dog you could imagine. He gets along well with our eleven year old Shepherd Annie (who is sweet, beautiful and protective as well) and the two together are a treat. This picture on the right is Bruce rocking his new onesie. He is short haired and because his fur is very sparse in places he feels the cold, and the heat, basically any degree either side of twenty-two has his running inside. It really didn’t take him long to transition from being an outdoor dog to climbing up on our bed for cuddles every morning. I Love my dogs xxx


Writing Life:

When Lucy came down the Ferris Wheel has just been published. I was very excited to put this out into the world. This is a story about betrayal and manipulation. We trust the people in our lives, we believe that they have the best intentions for us, as we do for them. It takes a lot of courage to step outside the veil our friends and family create around us. All to often the victim has no idea of the lies and deception that hold up this familiar charade.

From the outside Lucy is an ordinary suburban housewife living an idyllic life in Fremantle with her husband Tom and their two children. She could have kept her health issues hidden within the well-manicured walls of her home. But after a recent mental collapse, Lucy discovers that all is not what it seems. She has been manipulated and held captive by her closest friend and betrayed by her husband. Can she untangle herself from the web of lies built around her? What will become of those that betrayed her?

Work in Progress…

I am currently proofing – Love Heals the Heart the third book in my Shades of Love Series a multi protagonist series exploring the many variations of love, relationships and obsessions that we share as humans. Book three follows Scott Clarke to prison and what happens to him in the years following the trial? We follow Allison’s career and her relationship with Robert, who sadly has seen better times (I don’t want to give it away here), and of course there is a cameo from Amber and Woods to bring us up to date their story. I am working hard to have this out in September, and a box set of all three will be available then as well.

What I am reading…

I love the works of Nikki Gemmell, this book, The Ripping Tree, did not disappoint. A great Australian novel that drew me into the story page after page. I needed a few deep breaths to get over the fact that I had read the last page, being so disappointed to be done with this satisfying read.


YouTube – Allison Chapter One…

Bali Retreat

My next book sees Woods and Amber take a romantic holiday to beautiful Bali. It starts well but a chance encounter has them drawn into the Bali’s seedy underworld. Will Woods escape with his life? Can Amber reach him in time?

Due to be released in September 2020, I am just in the process of finalizing final edits now, then it will sent off to be formatted, proofread and published. The trouble I am having is that it is spring here in West Australia and the days are so pretty with wild flowers and birdsong that it is hard to stay inside, but I am doing my best and getting a lot done on our colder cosy nights.

Our girl Annie, enjoying a rest in the garden bed while we re-fill the pond.

Allison – Swan River

Hazel FB2

Editors are wonderful at helping a writer shape their story into its pre-determined genre. Allison is a fast paced Sexy, Romantic/Suspense novel, to achieve that a lot of back story had to be ruthlessly stripped from its pages. It makes for a swifter read, and the story runs along as it was intended to do.

I am not quite prepared to ‘kill my darlings’ completely, I would like to share them here in the coming weeks. To help you get an overall picture of Allison and her family.

This is a tale of Allison as a child with her parents, in the original version of Allison she tells this to Mike Harkins, the fatherly security officer at Perth Airport.

When I was four, we went on the river.  It was just getting dark. A bright rainbow coloured sunset filled the sky.  Dad took the tinnie past Kings Park so I could see the glittering trees lit up to sparkle along with the night stars.  Mum sang Proud Mary as he steered and knocked back a couple of Cold Emu Exports from the eskie kept between his seat and ours at the front of the boat.  Dad stopped the boat at what he said was a good spot and we turned in our seats to watch him. Dad took a long handled net and dragged it along the bottom of the shallow water.  The dark Swan River reflected the night stars.

‘Are you catching the star’s daddy?’ I asked him.

‘Yes Ally,’ he said. ‘Do you know that I promised I would make your mother one,’ he replied, smiling.  ‘Didn’t I Emily. I will make you a star, change your ways from being a bar singer, anyone can be a bar singer.  Can’t they? Anyone.’

He pulled a blue swimmer from the water and dropped it in the bucket next to the eskie, I watched as it thrashed around afraid.

‘Daddy put it back in the water. We scare it!’ I cried.

‘It should be scared, it’s your mother’s dinner, and your dinner is coming next,’ he said.

Sharp talons clipped as the blue crustacean tried to claw its way back into the safety of the river.  For a moment it looked as if it had surrendered to its fate, but when another was plonked on top it resumed fighting to save its life again.

I stood up in the boat as dad was lowering the net to dredge for more crabs, Mum had tried to grab me, but I pulled free and lost my balance.  Gripping onto the bucket, I went overboard.  The crabs fell into the water. They gnawed and clipped their way up and over my arms and onto freedom as I sunk to the bottom of the river.

The stinging from the nips stopped.  Noise stopped. I could no longer hear mum screaming my name.  Darkness above and below me.  Over in the distance I see the light from Dad’s dolphin torch and felt the nip of a swimmer on my left middle toe, it should have hurt more.  I swallow water.  It is so quiet.  There is no one there to tell me to fight, to kick my legs and flair my arms.  It is before I had swimming lessons at the YMCA, it is before I knew that drowning is for life.  I watch on curiously. Water filled my ears, my nose, and mouth. Water replaced all the air that once filled my gaps. Blackness.

Mum brought me back into this world coughing and spewing, my throat hurt from the wakening.  This is the last memory I have of mum and dad together.

Mum didn’t really talk about him much after that.  She made it good, for the two of us. She sang, even had her own cabaret show for a while.  She sang like Judy Garland.  She was a star.

I was twelve when she got sick, she tried chemo.  She was mostly bedridden for a few years.  I started busking in Fremantle and picking up the odd gigs, weddings, and churches mainly.  Mum taught me how to sing, how to look after myself.   She even tried to find my dad so I wouldn’t be alone and have to go into care.  I know that she hung on as long as she could.
Thanks for  reading!

 

 

Cheats…. A burrow in the Rabbit Hole

I have been down the rabbit hole for days,  Cheats is distracting me, from my work on Allison.  To be very honest this was one of the stories that I wanted to write during  NaNoWriMo this year, but Delilah won out. More on her to come during editing later next year.

This book Cheats will not sleep so I have made a deal with myself, to put some other projects aside and work on Cheats after I have gone nuts and had enough of the daily grind of Allison edits.

These stories are about so much more than a collection of cheating spouses.  As I see it there are many more ways to be unfaithful in a relationship.  A friend reminded me of a story about a girl she knew that essentially put her life on hold for the dreams of her husband.  Of course her husband knew, but he took the gifts she gave him because he could.

We often don’t realise the effect this has.  She was a loving partner, and willingly surrendered herself and her direction in life for what she thought was the good of the relationship.  It was not.  She became a resentful passionless doormat.  He could of fixed things, he could of stopped taking.  She could of been truthful and stood up for herself and perhaps after some jumping up and down he would have been okay about it.  Instead, she cheated herself, and him.  Her kindness and willingness to surrender herself suffocated their relationship.

My dear friend is a big Keith Urban fan, and knows how songs inspire me.  She told me that this song reminds her of the couple she knew.  Keith  blames the man, (himself) for destroying a beautiful relationship through selfishness, for always taking and not taking care of her.

Who really it to blame? We teach people how to treat us. She taught him that her needs didn’t matter and he was not strong enough to push past her faux objections to treat her the same. Stupid boy wasn’t mean or abusive, he was just selfish, weak and immature.

Nothing better when exploring heartache that some good old country music…

Cheating Quotes… Love & Heart

There are a multitude of ways to cheat, money, diet, work, health and heart..

Here I have collected twenty one powerful quotes concerning love and relationships.  It has already proven to be a powerful topic, so much hurt and pain created by simple acts that to my mind roll up into number one because someone only cheats on you when they forget about you.

 

  1. “HE FORGOT ABOUT YOU.  REMEMBER THAT” yourtango.com
  2. “If you succeed in cheating someone, don’t think that the person is a fool.  Realize that the person trusted you much more than you deserved.”
  3. “If you are in a relationship, flirting is cheating” Picturequotes.com
  4. Love doesn’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and crewing with people’s feelings and emotions hurt” ~unknown.
  5. “If you’re in a relationship then focus on your relationship, not everything else outside of it” picturequotes.com
  6. “A real man will cut off any female that threatens his relationship with his woman” heartfeltquotes.blogspot.com
  7. “Cheating isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice”
  8. “I will remember and recover. Not forgive and forget” tumblr.com
  9. “Never cheat on someone who showed you what love means because only when its too late that you’ll realise you have lost something you will never ever have again” facebook/LQ.official
  10. “Sleeping alone is better than sharing your bed with someone who shares their bed and their desires with someone else when you are not around” ~ unknown
  11. “You didn’t love her.  You just didn’t want to be alone.  Or maybe, maybe she was just good for your ego. Or, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn’t love her. Because you don’t destroy the people you love.  ~Grey’s Anatomy
  12. “Nothing hurts more than being disappointed by the one person who you thought would never hurt you.” ~unknown
  13. “Distance is not a reason for infidelity or cheating in a relationship; patience and self-control is among what makes us human.” Evans Macharia RaiseYourMind.com
  14. “Flirting is cheating because it’s breaking a boundary within a committed relationship. In a committed relationship we agree to give certain parts of ourselves to our partner.  When we are flirting, we are giving sexual interest and attention that only our partner should get – we are giving it to somebody else”golfian.com/77-inspirational-being-cheated-quotes-about-cheating/
  15. “You will never know how strong your heart is until you learn to forgive the one who broke it” ~unknown
  16. If you are in a relationship and you are just talking to someone else behind your partner’s back in a flirting way.. then don’t you think for one second that’s not cheating, because it definitely is! ~unknown
  17. “A cheaters punishment is to live a life of mistrust because they live in  a constant fear that the person they cheated with will also cheat on them; some call it poetic justice.  But I call it KARMA.” lovelivequotes.blogspot.in
  18. “I could never cheat on anyone.  It’s the type of mistake and wrong doing I couldn’t live with.  Knowing that you destroyed someone’s trust is bad, but destroying someone’s perspective on love is far too worse” Amino Auditore
  19. “I realised how much I don’t want you, when I saw how easy it was for anyone to have you” Herthoughts36
  20. “You didn’t just cheat on me; you cheated on us.  You didn’t just break my heart; you broke our future.” Steve Maraboli
  21.  “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option” Mark Twain

 

 

More Inspiration for Cheats

I am often inspired in my writing by music and the heartache it can remind us of.  This is a very old song by Hank Williams called “Your Cheating Heart”.  I know this song by heart.  Every Christmas, my dad would have a few too many beers and belt this out with such feeling that as a young girl I felt on the verge for tears.  As an adult I learnt that it was my father that had a cheating heart.

So many things skip past us in childhood.  It is only in hindsight that we see the truth hidden in so many situations.  This is true in our adult lives too.  What do we glimpse over, reject or disbelieve for the sake of peace and the continuation of a friendship, a relationship or a marriage.  What do we endure in our silence for the truth not to rock the boat?

So many questions are being stirred in this melting pot of misery and deceit  as I work to develop my cast of short story characters.

I hope you enjoy this song, comment below if it pulls a heart string or two.

 

Fremantle – traveling for Allison

A trip around Fremantle in edit season, was the perfect remedy to a day indoors.  Thankfully the weather has cooled and being outside has become temporarily tolerably again.  We have been bombarded here with forty degree days, and so cooped up inside during the productive hours of the day.

Here are some pictures that I took around Fremantle Markets. I really enjoyed the smells, colours and sights of Fremantle. The markets themselves suffer terribly at the hands of our fire lighting villain Scott.  To be honest I felt a pang of guilt at the destruction the fire caused (in the book only) but today I was reassured that all is well in this very magical pocket of West Australia.