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.

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!



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.

Allison Book Cover

Let me present my working book cover,  this could change before I release the book in December 2019.  It is Easter Sunday my husband is climbing a mountain in New Zealand and I am procrastinating, looking for inspiration,  no make that motivation to get back to editing!  I have finished my work for the Karate Club for term one with a newsletter created on Canva (awesome program for so many things) so I figure what the hell, create a temporary book cover.  I am almost ready to send my manuscript back to Office-works to be reprinted and binded for the fourth time, it will be nice to have a image on the front.

This image of girl in the woods reminds me of the chapter where Allison is trapped by Scott in the reforested area just outside of Albany in West Australia.  I feel a road trip coming on soon so I can share photos and get the feel of  a place I have not visited for many years.  It is not a nice scene in the book,  I had deep concerns for Allison when I wrote it. I had to let the scene unfold between Scott and Allison, without interfering.

I know it sounds odd, but the writing part is easy as long as I do not try to control my characters and just listen and type.  A little bit of madness is necessary to write fiction.

This end of the process is a struggle, the editing requires so much concentration, it is tiring and it is necessary because I do want to produce the best work possible with my limited budget.  A budget means I have to ensure that I hand my best work into my editor and that I am left with as few re-writes as possible.  Editors are valuable, necessary and worth every dollar spent but I have to ensure that I spend each dollar wisely. I am going to make another coffee and back to work!!