On to something more positive and FUN. I wanted to give you a preview of my new novel. It’s still in beta phase, but I’d like to get your opinion. Are you intrigued? Would you want to read more?
Take a gander…
Taken from In the Stars, by Elizabeth Smith
Part 1: The Hunter
She had escaped to the bathroom, but only as a last resort. Charlotte was not one to hang out in dirty toilet stalls.
She had been there for fifteen minutes, balanced on the edge of the cracked toilet seat, her head in her hands. As it was a crowded club, there was a line of bladder-heavy women with compromised make-up and questionable equilibriums. And they were antsy.
Leighton had insisted on taking her out. Though Charlotte told her she wasn’t into the club scene, the Londoner had felt it her duty to introduce the new resident to all the hottest raves in town.
To Leighton, a woman raised with gold-dusted porridge and a diamond-encrusted pram, clubbing was equivalent to “slumming it”. Which apparently was the thing to do.
To Charlotte- a woman raised on sense and economy- the height of fun was a wine bar and spicy food.
You wanted to loosen up, remember? Give it a chance.
Her resolution to work on her social anxiety had allowed her to agree to this outing. The reality of the disorder prevented her from deriving any joy from it.
She had lived in London for a total of two months, and still she hadn’t been able to shake her feeling of dread. Ever since finding out her birth parents left her a house in England, she’d felt like her life was the wrong side up.
Back at home, she’d felt safe and secure. Her lack of confidence in crowds aside, there was no evidence of trouble looming. So why did she feel so on edge?
“Oi! If you’re not using it, get out of the loo!”
She didn’t have much time. The masses were gearing up to storm her barricades. Pushing her hair out of her face, she then put her hands on her knees.
You can do this, Charlotte. It’s just mind over matter.
She took a deep breath, and then went to stand up. That’s when she saw the writing on the wall.
She had ignored the calligraphy around her, all the names and salacious comments inscribed on the stall walls like handprints on a Walk of Shame. As she was getting ready to face the music, literally, her eyes caught on a particular name. It was hers.
Not just a standard, “For a good time, call Charlotte.” That would’ve only gotten a cursory glance.
No, this was her name, Charlotte Fletcher, spelled out next to the toilet paper dispenser with a request.
“Charlotte Aurora Fletcher of West Cedar Street, Boston, Massachusetts, United States- Please call this number: 020 7946 0606”
She blinked. Then she wiped her eyes with her hands.
She’d had one drink- some disgusting absinthe concoction Leighton handed her. Was she hallucinating? How could there be any other explanation?
“Get out of the bloody toilet!”
She had to move quickly; things were dicey with the natives.
Scrounging around in her little leather purse, she dug out a receipt and a pen. Then she scribbled down the phone number listed with her name and home address.
Finally opening the door of the stall, she held her head high as she walked past the woozy on-lookers giving her death stares. Then she walked out into the dark club and attempted to locate Leighton. Though she had a few more hours to kill, Charlotte now had something to keep her mind occupied.