Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

ebook of the month...the friends

First published June 2007
eBook out now!

The friends:
I'd always been keen on the idea of writing a book set in one place with only the hero and heroine on the page.  And that's exactly what I intended to do when setting out to write this book.  I mean big house, reclusive painter. No visitors allowed - bar one, of course ;).

Well, that was until my fabulous editor got a look at the first few chapters.  She loved it, but...  Couldn't the heroine , Maggie, have some friends?  Some foils off which to bounce?  Women who know her?  Love her?  Soften her?

You know what?  She was right!  I adore the context and richness that secondary characters add to a novel.  In a short novel it can be a tricky ask, having friends, family and workmates on the page without taking focus away from the romance.  But its kind of what I do.  Since book one.  I can't seem to help myself.  So it's what I did here too!

So here are The Wednesday Girls...

The excerpt:
Late the next morning, a bustle of noise at Maggie’s front door heralded the arrival of Freya, Sandra and Ashleigh, the Wednesday girls.  Annoyed at the racket, Smiley plodded through the house and out the back door.

Sandra, the youngest of the gang, lumbered in first, her dark wavy hair in pigtails, her pretty blue eyes rimmed in lashings of rebellious black kohl and her heavy combat boots clumping loudly on the wooden floor.

‘Mornin’ Mags, sorry we’re late.  Blame Freya,’ she called out, dumping her black leather beanbag in the middle of the floor.

Freya, a single mum with twin girls in the first grade whirled in next, short red hair scruffy, pale cheeks pink, clay stains on her freckled arms, carrying a huge tartan picnic blanket and a cooler filled with gourmet foods.

‘Read the thing or don’t read the thing,’ Freya shouted over her shoulder.  ‘I don’t care.  You’re always going on about male domination in the creation of modern religion and this book says much the same.’

Freya waved a dog-eared copy of The Da Vinci Code over her shoulder like a waggling finger at the fourth musketeer, Ashleigh, Maggie’s old art teacher, the patron of the group, and the eldest at somewhere over fifty years old.  Well over, Maggie guessed, though with her short, insanely curly ash-blonde hair, and layers of autumnal coloured clothes, she had always seemed kind of ageless.

Ashleigh smiled serenely at Maggie and carried an Edwardian dining chair in her elegant wake, before her pale eyes swayed to the painting over her shoulder.  Her gaze wandered carefully over the piece, then down to the floor where the dozen other members of the lukewarm Blue Smudge Series rested haphazardly against one another.

Ashleigh hooked a long thin hand through Maggie’s elbow.  ‘This new one’s coming along nicely, don’t you think?’

Maggie didn’t think any such thing.  ‘Wine for everyone?’ she called out rather than saying so.

‘God yes,’ Freya gasped, heading into the kitchen.

‘Make mine a double,’ Sandra said, shuffling a French cigarette from a box as she stared at Maggie’s painting, with her forehead creased into a kind of determined concentration only the young can achieve without leaving a mark.

‘So what’s it all about?’ Sandra asked, her hand hovering an inch from the canvas as though it could communicate better to her that way.

‘Beats me,’ Maggie admitted. 

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