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Friday, 4 November 2011

Great news!!!!!!

In the blink of an eye has now been re-published!
The re-edited version is now available to buy on the Xlibris website, and is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all main online bookstores!

Checkout 'In the blink of an eye' and 'Paving the way' you wont be disappointed. They are the first two of a trilogy based on the last ten years of my life. Book three is not far behind!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Another piece of 'Paving the way.'

Disaster snarled as it looked down on Danielle. Fuelled by hatred, it was forced to take a step back, and its assignment to destroy her life was now put on hold. At one point, certain that its crowning glory was at hand, it stood tall ready to claim it. Using all of its power to drag her down in to the depths of hopelessness, its attack was suddenly disarmed when a tower of strength rose up out of the blue, and proceeded to steal its glory. Totally unprepared for this turnaround, it retreated back in defeat, but all was not lost. Deciding to use another strategy, it waited patiently on the side lines, and when the time was right, it was ready to strike.

Excerpt from 'Paving the way.'

The afternoon came and went, and the coolness of the evening air was a sure sign that the day was coming to a close. Danielle and Mick dined in the restaurant, and after their meal they sat at the bar and talked to Pannos. Mick was his usual comical self, and had them laughing at his silly ways. The room was buzzing with excitement, and Mick silently congratulated himself for having stayed out of trouble. The events of the past twenty four hours had been forgotten, and Pannos was pleased to find that everything had gone back to the way it used to be. Watching Danielle’s’ face light up as she laughed, he longed to have her in his arms again. Then, enchanted by her sparkling green eyes, he suddenly found himself thinking about her children. He knew how important they were to her, and a pain pierced his heart when he thought about her life in England. Knowing that her life had been put on hold to be with him, he envied the fact that they were the vital link to the world she had temporarily left behind. Jealousy played a strong part in his mind as he imagined his life without her. Finding it a struggle to shake off these feelings, he tried to think past the pain, and tried to think of a positive outcome as to why he had met her. A few things came to mind, so following their path he searched for the answer. But they all led to the same conclusion. There was no answer, just a big void. His life was going to be unbearable without her. The result of the situation kick started him back into reality, and he could have cursed himself for letting it get the better of him. ‘No,’ he thought. ‘I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I will concentrate on what we have now.’ These empowering thoughts triggered his need to think only of Danielle’s happiness, and not his own selfish desires of something that was obviously out of his control. So taking charge of his thoughts, he put the smile back on his face, and carried as before.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Wahoooooo its here! Paving the way!

The sequel to In the blink of an eye is now available to buy online on the Xlibris website.
It is available on paper back and ebook. It will also be available on other online bookstores in the very near future.

The sequel to ‘In the blink of an eye’ is the next instalment following the lives of Danielle, Mick and Pannos. Step on to a path paved with love, loss, betrayal and revenge, and be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster ride that will have you sitting on the edge of your seats. Can Danielle’s heart stand the test of time? Is Pannos strong enough to face a past event that has the potential to destroy his world? Will Mick ever overcome his addiction? There is only one way to find out. But be warned, it doesn’t end there

The new improved version of 'In the blink of an eye,' will also be available to buy very soon.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Watch this space!

Hi there,
I have some exciting news to share!
Firstly, 'In the blink of an eye,' has been taken off the "virtual shelf" as it is being re-vamped. The new and improved version will be available to buy very soon.

The sequel 'Paving the way' will also be available to buy soon, and is just going through the publishing process!
I am so excited, but I am going to enjoy a couple of weeks break until I start on Book 3.

So watch this space!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A taste of the re-vamped edition of 'In the blink of an eye.'

The mind is a strange thing. It has the ability to create a masterpiece out of just one thought, and the authority to shatter that creation with just one niggling seed of doubt. It has the power to hide our innermost secrets, and the audacity to remind us of them when we least expect it. When the night creeps in, our mind opens up to a world full of dreams, offering a place of safety, cushioning us from the damaging realities of life. Here, our worst fears can be transformed into visions of hope, and for just a short while we are equipped with the capability of outsmarting those cruel hands of fate. Suffering and pain are non-existent in this place, where happy endings are as predictable as the dawning of a new day. Memories of death and loss are barred from entering this sanctuary, its mission to destroy temporarily put on hold.
But temporary is the operative word, because eventually… you have to wake up!
“Where’s Billy?” Danielle cried, standing in front of an empty grave. Panicking, her eyes scanned the cemetery searching for her son, but he was nowhere to be seen. Knowing that he had to be there somewhere, she turned back to the vacant plot, and noticed a big vase of white Lilies sitting at the foot of the gravestone. Reaching down, she went to touch the beautiful bouquet of unspoilt flowers, and as her hand neared the crisp white petals, they suddenly shrivelled up and disappeared.
Danielle,” the sound of the gentle wind whispered in her ear. “He is not here…But, you are not to blame.” Disorientated, she withdrew her hand. Although she knew her heart was breaking, she couldn’t feel any physical pain. For some strange reason, she felt at peace.
“Yes he is!” Danielle screamed, her eyes filling up with tears. “Billy, where are you?” Then turning around, she saw him.
“There’s my boy,” she whispered into the air that had tried to convince her otherwise. “There’s my Billy.” A big triumphant smile swept across Danielle’s face, squashing her fears like the grass beneath her feet. Unable to move her legs, she cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, “Billy, it’s me.” But to her disappointment, Billy showed no signs of acknowledging her and kept on walking. Even though he didn’t hear her voice, Danielle was not deterred and her smile widened. ‘My Billy’s come home at last,’ she thought watching him walk past her only yards away, wearing his favourite blue and white roll necked jumper. ‘How tall and handsome you are… Oh how I have missed you.’ Tears were still streaming down her cheeks, only this time they were tears of joy. Finding her strength, she called him again, and began to go towards him. “Billy!” Now, she was running. “Billy,” she cried coming up behind him. “It’s me, your mum.”
 Billy stood still.
“Oh son, I am so glad you came home.” Danielle stopped just inches away from him. Moving in slow motion, Billy turned around and looked at his mother. He stared at her for a few moments, and Danielle’s heart felt as though it had stopped. Then as if by magic, a huge smile of recognition swept across his face. His gorgeous hazel eyes had the power to light up the heavens, and Danielle had never seen him look so handsome.
Suddenly, a deep sense of pride overwhelmed her.
“Oh darling it has been so long… too long,” Danielle said holding out her arms. “I was afraid I would never see you again.” Billy fell into his mother’s embrace. Finally, she was able to hold her son in her arms again.  Squeezing him she said, “I never, ever want to let you go.”
Billy stayed silent.
But something deep down in Danielle’s soul told her she had no other choice. Putting her head into his chest, she closed her eyes and breathed in the memory of her son.
“I love you so much,” she said holding him tight, in the hope that he would respond to her in the same way.
Still, Billy stayed silent.
A few moments passed them by.
“You are the only one who holds me like that,” were the only words that came out of Billy’s mouth as he held his mother tight.
But then, he pulled away.
Aware that she would lose him at any moment, she tried her utmost to keep hold of her first born son, but it was no use. Somehow, he had slipped out of her grasp. Fearing this would be the last time she ever saw him, an excruciating pain tore through her heart.
 “Where are you going?” Danielle cried out in sheer desperation, holding out her hand to him. She just couldn’t understand why he wanted to leave. “Please don’t go,” she said, her voice now just a whisper.
 But he carried on walking.
Danielle’s worst fears manifested themselves once again as she watched her son disappear into the distance. Then, in the blink of an eye, Billy was gone.
Helpless, alone, and now back in the arms of reality..... Danielle woke up!    

Monday, 12 September 2011

Another taste of the sequel 'Paving the way'

Chapter 7
A tall, dark-haired woman stepped off of the plane and made her way down the makeshift stairs on to the tarmac. The sound of her stiletto shoes vibrated through the metal steps, but she was careful not to get her three inch heels caught between the gaps. Tiny droplets of perspiration began to form on her forehead. She wasn’t sure whether it was due to her nervousness or the intensity of the heat that had hit her as she had come out from the aircraft. Her dark brown eyes narrowed as she looked around the airport; she could not believe that she had finally found the courage to come to Skiathos. Confronted with this reality, mixed feelings flowed through her body, but there was no going back now. Her life had recently taken an unexpected turn. Even though it was a hard decision to make, she was sure that Skiathos held the answers to the questions that were swimming around in her head. These domineering thoughts of closure gave her the strength to carry on with her mission. So, putting on her sunglasses, she continued on into the airport. A sense of expectancy bubbled in her stomach as she waited patiently for her luggage, and she couldn’t help wondering what the outcome of her trip would be. Tiredness soon crept over her and her feet were throbbing. The only thing that kept her focused was the thought of getting in a nice cool shower when she finally reached her hotel. She breathed in a deep sigh as her eyes wandered around the large room, when they suddenly focused on a rather angry looking man. Her first thoughts were that he was on his own, and she instinctively felt the need to go and help him. But when an attractive lady came up to him and put her arm around his shoulder, it became evident that he was not alone. She watched the couple and could see that the woman was trying to console him, but by the irate look on his face, she wasn’t having much luck. The mystery woman became distracted when the familiar sight of her bright pink suitcase came along the conveyor belt, and she bent over to pick it up. The couple were soon forgotten as she made her way through the lounge and started heading for the main entrance. As she came to the large glass doors, she reached for the handbag that was usually hung over her shoulder, and was overcome with sheer terror when she realised that it wasn’t there. Panic stricken, she desperately tried to think back to where she could have left it. She remembered having it while waiting for her suitcase, because she had put her passport in the tiny compartment in the side. So, she turned around and walked back to the baggage lounge.
"Please be there, please be there," she said under her breath repeatedly, crossing her fingers. She scanned the room and was relieved to see her black patent handbag on one of the chairs. She thought that this was rather strange because she had been nowhere near the chair, but guessed that some kind person had picked it up and put it there in clear view to be found. She hurried over to claim it, furiously looked through the many pockets, and was pleased to find that everything was still there. She held her bag to her chest like a long lost child, and closed her eyes. Her heart was racing because she had feared the worst. It was not just her purse that was of great value to her. She took in deep breaths to overcome her panicked state, and by the fifth breath, her heart was back to its usual rate. Delighted by the outcome of this near disaster, she opened her eyes and took another look in her bag. As she rummaged through the contents, she discovered the brown envelope. The familiar handwriting on the front caused her heart to miss a beat, quickly reminding her of why she was there. ‘Only to be opened after my death,’ were the words written in bold, black writing. Tears stung the back of her eyes as she re-read the heart rendering statement, and it took all her mental strength to keep them under control. Swallowing down the pain that had tried to reduce her to tears, she placed the envelope back in to her bag and walked back towards the main entrance. With her head held high and her pain safely put away, she elegantly walked past the irate man from earlier. Strangely, he was now standing with a gun pointed to his head. He looked like a frightened rabbit, and from what she could make out, he was trying desperately to plead with the Customs Officer. His pleas for justice were obviously being ignored, because the officer was just looking at him with a very stern look on his face. ‘That man looks in need of a good lawyer,’ she thought to herself, smiling. ‘It’s a shame that I am off-duty,’ her train of thought continued, as she walked out of the door conscious that she should not get involved. With her prize possession back in her hands again, the tall, dark-haired woman stepped out of the airport. The flow of holiday makers was now just a trickle, which made it easier for her to find an available taxi. The heat from the sun was still very hot, and it did not help that she was dressed in black. Her tight blouse attracted the intense temperature, causing it to stick to her skin, and the thought of that long awaited shower was becoming more appealing by the minute. With her luggage in the boot of the taxi, she was driven to her hotel.
She had planned her quest with precise intricacy, and had specifically chosen a hotel that was in the middle of the town. She felt that it was important for her base to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of holiday life, where it would be easy to blend in with the other tourists on the island. If for any reason her plan was to backfire, she knew that she would be able to get lost in the crowd, and this was a comfort to her.
In next to no time, she was in the elevator of her hotel. Slowly, it went up to the seventh floor, then it stopped and the doors opened. Armed with her key in one hand and her luggage in the other, she walked along the corridor in search of her room. She was grateful for the air-conditioning, but still felt sweaty and uncomfortable from her journey. Her feet were now swollen, and she could not wait to take off the shoes, which were now causing her to limp. She found her room, opened the door and walked inside. Without hesitating, the shoes were flung off, and she gasped a sigh of relief when the cool air that circulated the room touched her throbbing skin. Putting her bags down, she looked around. As her eyes scanned the room, its quaintness took her breath away. Everything was neatly in its place. As she admired her accommodation, for a split second she forgot why she was there. The sun’s rays that shone through the window lit up the room, radiating a warm glow that enhanced her surroundings. Suddenly, she had to remind herself why she was there, quickly bringing her back to her senses. ‘I am not here on a holiday,’ she thought. ‘I have got a job to do.’ She grabbed her handbag from the floor and went and sat down on the bed. There, she unclasped the bag and pulled out the brown envelope. ‘This is why I am here,’ she thought, staring at the familiar handwriting on the front. ‘This is why I have come all of this way.’ Tears stung her eyes as the bitter memories penetrated her heart, and she was taken back to only four months ago when her life had changed forever. She thought back to that day at her grandmother’s house, and her tears began to flow. Back then, she knew who she was. Back then, she had direction, but the envelope held in her hand, had changed all of that, revealing the lie that her life had been built on. Now, all of that had been cruelly taken away. A ball of resentment evolved in the pit of her stomach, bringing with it a deep sense of grief that made her feel sick. Finding the truth still hard to believe, she took a deep breath and put the envelope back into her bag. ‘I must be strong,’ she thought to herself, doing up the clasp. ‘I cannot let my emotions get the better of me.’ Wiping away her tears, she gathered her thoughts together and went over to get her suitcase. Her stomach rumbled and she looked at the time. She had no desire to eat anything, but she needed to keep her strength up. After her long awaited shower, she decided to take a walk through the town in search of a good restaurant. On many nights, whilst away on business trips, she had dined alone, and this would be no different, she thought. To her, this was all that it was, purely business.
Back at the Oasis Hotel, Pannos and Danielle walked hand-in-hand up to Pannos’ room. They had left Mick down at the bar, and he was busy telling Yannis about his life-threatening experience at the airport. Pannos was relieved to have his beautiful Danielle back by his side again; this was evidenced by the smile that was now a permanent fixture on his face. The conversation was flowing between them, and it was as if they had never been apart. As they walked up the stairs, Danielle felt in awe of her surroundings, but she couldn’t have been any happier. She was back with the man of her dreams, and she could have cried with joy. When they reached Pannos’s room, Danielle was overcome with nervousness as he opened the door. When he walked her over the threshold, her heart began to beat faster, and she was once again confronted with a welcoming bouquet of flowers. She stood still as he shut the door behind them. Her mind was instantly taken back to her previous visit and her last night spent in this room, and all of the feelings of that special time sailed through her body. No words were said as Pannos took her into his arms and kissed her. He sighed deeply at her response, and all of his anxieties of never seeing his Danielle again deflated in their embrace. Time stood still, and they were overcome by a deep desire that both of them had tried to deny for the past few weeks. The love that had been cleverly disguised was ignited again, bringing with it a passion that was too hard to contain. Pannos instinctively led her over to the bed and laid her down. He kissed her again, but then he had to pull away. He looked deep into her eyes and was once again mesmerised by their beauty. He was afraid to carry on, so just concentrated on calming down his quickened heart rate.
“You are so beautiful,” he said, claiming back his breath. “I have missed you so much.” They lay there, captured in each other’s stare, and he smiled.
“I have missed you too, Pannos. It is hard to explain just how much,” Danielle replied, locked into his soft brown eyes. He nodded, aware of what she meant and kissed her again. He pulled her closer and kissed every part of her face. He found it hard to believe that she was there and breathed in this special lady.
“I love you,” he said, completely captivated by her. “Thank you for coming back to me.” Danielle mouthed, I love you, back, and she felt relief at being able to say them again. She nodded for him to carry on, and they made love. The promise Pannos made to his father quickly slipping from his mind.
Mick found himself alone at the bar. Yannis had been distracted by one of the guests, and this left Mick alone with his thoughts. His mind went straight to his estranged wife, and he couldn’t help wondering what she was doing. He pictured her distraught face when she found out where he was, and he felt himself puff up with pride. ‘Now, who’s got the upper hand?’ He thought. ‘Now, who’s in control?’ He picked up his beer and took a big swig of it. He relished the thought and freedom of being able to do whatever he liked, and breathed in this wonderful feeling. Then, he scanned the room and smiled. ‘I don’t need Tracey,’ he thought, noticing a young lady sitting on her own. ‘Oh, it’s so good to be back.’
Three quarters of an hour later, Pannos and Danielle walked down to the bar. Mick was now talking to a group of people at the bar, and he was happy to entertain them with his funny ways. He had plucked up the courage to talk to the young lady, but was met by an unforeseen obstacle when she had revealed to him that she was married. Her husband had had to go back to their room to get something, and Mick was overcome by disappointment when she explained this. This did not deter him from his happy frame of mind though, and he brought her a drink anyway. He still managed to get in his story of maltreatment at the airport before her husband appeared, and he left her also feeling quite angry with the Greek security system. Mick wandered back over to the bar where a group of male guests had gathered. They welcomed him as he stood beside them, and he took this opportunity to share his story. He was relieved to have gotten their attention, so he spent the rest of the time, whilst waiting for Danielle, talking to them.
Pannos kissed Danielle and walked behind the bar. As guests witnessed this act of love, the room went quiet. Pannos watched the men’s faces as they looked at Danielle, stunned, and pride oozed out of him. One man in particular caught his attention, and his mouth dropped open when he saw her. This made Pannos laugh.
“You look like you have never seen a beautiful lady before,” he said, his statement aimed at the gawping man. The man’s face went bright red, so to hide his embarrassment, he just laughed.
“This is Danielle, the lady I spoke about from England,” he continued. “And, I see that you have met my good friend, Michael… They are friends.” Pannos took hold of Danielle’s hand and kissed it. “They will be staying awhile,” he said. Danielle’s face now turned a deep scarlet. All the guests at the bar said hello to Danielle, each one of them welcoming her back to the hotel. Danielle was overwhelmed by the response to her arrival, and she was reminded of the way that people reacted to her when she was with Pannos. She was overwrought with pride. Turning to Pannos, she smiled. The expression on his face said it all, and she couldn’t help feeling special in the presence of this man.
“Pannos, my friend, drinks all round,” Mick said, interrupting their eye contact. “Just put it on my bill.” Pannos obliged Mick’s request and busied himself with the many orders that flew across the bar. Their conversations began to flow again, and the room was filled with laughter. Mick was the instigator of the joy that lit up the hotel, and Pannos was delighted to have his two favourite people back in his life again. Pannos’ mother walked out of the restaurant, and her face lit up when she saw Danielle at the bar. Then she looked at her son and felt happy seeing him full of the joys of spring. She smiled at her son’s fortune for having Danielle back by his side, and went over to greet her. Danielle turned around and her heart skipped a beat when she saw Pannos’ mother walking towards her.
“Danielle... Ah, Danielle, it is so good to see you again. Welcome back,” she said, putting her arms out to embrace her.
“H-hello...... It is so lovely to be back,” Danielle replied, putting her arms out in response to her kind gesture. Pannos’ smile widened as the two women embraced, but then he noticed his father standing at the entrance of the restaurant. He felt the smile slip from his face as his father looked at him, but it was soon restored when his father smiled. Pannos was relieved to see kindness generated through his father’s expression, and felt honoured to have such an understanding father. He turned his attention back to Danielle, and his father continued to walk over to the reception. Danielle felt at ease as she spoke to this adorable Greek lady. All her worries soon disappeared, and she felt right at home. The warmth of his mother’s voice, and the kindness that was displayed on her face, reassured Danielle that she had made the right decision in coming back to this beautiful place. Then, Anna entered the bar, and she went straight over to say hello to Danielle. The three women talked like long lost friends for almost half an hour, and Danielle relished the friendliness of her Greek hosts. Pannos was busy accommodating his thirsty guests, but he still managed to keep Danielle in his sight. His heart was ready to burst as he watched his Danielle interact with his family; he couldn’t have wished for a better start to the week he was to spend with the love of his life.
The town was an array of happy holiday makers, all taken in by this beautiful island. The dark haired lady walked through the bustling High Street; she couldn’t help being inspired by this wonderful place. As she mingled amongst the many people, she spotted a busy Taverna across the road. Now dressed in shorts and a vest top, she wandered in to get something to eat. She was met by a gorgeous Greek waiter who showed her to her table. After taking her drink order, he left her to look through the menu. She still felt sick to the stomach, so she decided to have something light. The waiter soon returned with her beverage, and she disclosed to him her wish for a Greek salad. He wrote down her order and then walked away. Her eyes scanned around the room and to her surprise, she started to feel extremely homesick. Although she was not married, she missed her life back in England. She had many friends who occupied her spare time, and she longed to see a friendly face. Marriage was the last thing on her mind, because she was more than content with her work. She was a well established lawyer, one of the top in her field, and this was more than a fulltime job for her. There was a special man in her life, but she had kept him at arm’s length. He had been persistent in his pursuit of her, but she did not want to get too involved. When the huge blow came that shook her very foundations, the last thing that she needed was the bother of a long term relationship, so she chose to put her focus on sorting out what was left of her crippled life. She sighed heavily when she thought about the mess that it had now become, and she could have cried. Her mind wandered back to that dark day and a tear escaped down her face. ‘Why did this have to happen to me?’ She thought, wiping away the solitary tear. Her food was placed down in front of her; she took a deep breath to claim back her strength, and began to eat.
An hour later, the mystery woman was walking back to her hotel. Darkness had crept over the island, and the selection of coloured lights coming from the many bars and restaurants stole her view. As she witnessed the happy people enjoying the welcoming atmosphere, she secretly wished that she was there on holiday, but once again was reminded of why she was there. The deep sense of sadness that had made itself a home in her heart did not deter her from her mission when she found herself outside of her hotel.
Five minutes later, she was shutting the room door behind her. She turned on the light and lay down on the bed. Her mind was racing. She just didn’t know where to begin. The events of the past few months had put her mind in complete turmoil. She had never felt so confused. Leaning over the side of the bed, she picked up her handbag. She reached in and pulled out the brown envelope again. Her hands were shaking slightly as she opened it, her heart beat quickly in her chest. She sat up, took out a wad of papers and placed them on the bed. As her thumping heart echoed through her head, she stared at the letters and documents that were in front of her. She picked up one of the documents and carefully unfolded it.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The story continues


The sequel to 'In the blink of an eye' is the next installment, following the lives of Danielle, Pannos and Mick. After having to leave the man of her dreams behind, Danielle struggles with coming to terms with this loss. Throwing herself into mother hood, she manages to put him to the back of her mind. Pannos, however,cannot forget about the love of his life. So going against his word to marry a 'good Greek girl' he decides to call Mick in the hope that he will be with Danielle. Mick's underlying problem goes from bad to worse, when he finds he can't start his day without a shot of vodka to bring him back into the land of the living.
Bill has a life changing decision to make. He is at a cross road, and does not know which way to go. Can his friendship with Mick stand the test of time, giving him the answer he is desperately looking for?
Meet George, Pannos's arrogant cousin. His self absorbed attitude proves too much for Pannos; sending him into a jealous rage.
Unbeknown to all of them, a mystery lady has stepped on to the island, with only one thing on her mind, REVENGE! Fuelled by anger, she goes in search for the answer to a life changing question that has turned her world upside down.
Danielle's path also takes an unexpected turn when a cloud of devastation looms on her horizon, but this time she was not prepared for the chaos it would cause. Totally unaware that something terrible lingered on the path of her destiny, a chain of events begin to unfold that would not only change the course of her life forever, but would have an everlasting impact on her children’s lives too.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Get inspired...Open up the door to your destiny...You know you can do it!!!

Some of the background behind my Trilogy....

I am told forty two is the new thirty two. I like it! It’s like saying that red is the new black. You know it blatantly isn’t, but when your mind adjusts to the idea, wraps itself around the lie and snuffs it out, it becomes a welcomed reality.
I never imagined by the time I reached forty two that I would have two grown up children, a four year old granddaughter, and two dogs.
I remember being in my room at twelve years old, miming to Abba songs with a yellow towel on my head (I wished I had long blonde hair like Agnetha.) My only worry I had was keeping my room tidy. Along with dreaming of being Agnetha, I dreamt of meeting prince charming, having a big fairytale wedding, and having four children, two boys and two girls. Oh, the innocence of a young girl. If only you could bottle it! But it was only to be a dream. I had my first child at sixteen; my second at eighteen, and my illusions of living happily ever after were shattered! The father of my two children, Danny and Lianne, was only two years older than me, but unfortunately for both of us (I say that loosely) he became a heroine addict. We didn’t live together, so I was oblivious to what was going on. I found myself alone in a two bedroom flat with a toddler and a baby, but I was tough. I was strong, I could cope, and I did. I had the support of my mum and dad, so things weren’t so bad. I met someone else, whom I married, and along came my third child Nicky. Not wanting to go into too much detail, we survived for eleven years. I say survived because that was tough. Our relationship was a volatile one, and violence occurred many a time, but in the end we had to call it a day. Now at thirty years old, I had three children to bring up, but still I coped. My faith in men was practically zero, and then I went to Skiathos, one of the Greek islands, and my faith went from zero to ten in a matter of days. Then In The Blink of An Eye, my first novel was born. My book is based on my experience, and how a young woman, with no self esteem, met a man who made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. But there is more to this story than just romance. It also delves into the world of addiction, as you follow the storyline of Mick, an alcoholic in denial, who is oblivious that his marriage breakdown is the result of his heavy drinking. Love, loss and heartbreak are some of the ingredients that have gone into my story. It is the first of a trilogy, and I am currently working on the sequel, Paving The Way. The three books are based on the last ten years of my life, and over those ten years I have faced all three situations that I just spoke about. Loves shattered dreams restored, dealing with a loss that nearly destroyed me, and my heart broken into so many pieces that I thought it was beyond repair. You might be wondering why at the beginning of my post I said I had two children, when later on it is clear that I have three. Unfortunately seven years ago, my eldest son, who was eighteen, died in an accident. His death nearly killed me, but here I am, better and stronger than ever, fulfilling a dream that seemed impossible. I fought the biggest fight of my life, and the battle isn’t over yet, but I am getting there. I persevered, I held on to life by my little finger nail at times, but I held on. I pushed through, and looked through, and now I can see a future on my horizon. My stories are powerful, and book three (especially) is about survival and how through the challenges life throws at you, you can grow, and become the person you were destined to be.
So here I am, forty two years old, starting a journey that is both exciting and slightly daunting…. but here I am!!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

O' about that... Orlando Ramos: Guest blogger Lisa Skone...

O' about that... Orlando Ramos: Guest blogger Lisa Skone...: "Many people use Twitter to meet others with similar objectivity. We now have #WW and #FF to introduce others to our list of friends. It is..."

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sample chapters 1 - 4


Go on this link and read the first four chapters of 'In The Blink of an Eye.'

You just don't know what is around that corner!

Read my first novel, and get whisked away on a journey of friendship, love, chance and heartbreak.

It is the first of three books, and it is the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster ride that takes you not only through, but up, down, loop the loop, the life of a woman who had given up on love. Feeling helpless in a hopeless world, Danielle's cynicle out look was soon put to the test when Pannos came into her life.

Discover the true meaning of romance, as the story unfolds, and be propelled into a place where only fate can lead you to, and ladies, you will be left wanting a Pannos of your very own!

Monday, 13 June 2011

An interview with William Green, founder of Green Social Media Design (GSMD)

I owe so much to this man and his team, who have helped me in my quest to get my book known. Thanks Will, your a star!


Love, lies and mystery....now there's the ingredients for a good story!


Pannos' father notices that Pannos and Danielle are getting closer, and is enraged by the love affair unfolding before his eyes. He wants to put a stop to it!


Danielle was woken up by a hand gently stroking her arm. As she turned over she was greeted by Pannos’ gorgeous smile. No words were spoken as he welcomed her with his eyes when he kissed her. She closed her eyes and breathed in the memory of their conversation the night before. He held her tight and she felt so secure in his presence. He moved closer from behind her and his body fitted so perfectly into hers.  He kissed her shoulders and the now familiar feelings escaped through his lips. As he held her perfect body he was forced to use all his strength to control himself from making love to her. She turned to look at him and she could see the compulsive look in his eyes. It took all of her strength not to let him as she dared to kiss him. They got lost in each other and the world outside was soon forgotten. He pulled himself away and just stared into her eyes stroking her sexy curves. “I love you.” He mouthed and all of his power of restraint vanished. She went to say something but he put his finger on her mouth, stopping her from speaking. He just stared at her and smiled.
  “You are so perfect,” he said, watching his hand go up her tanned body. He did not want to leave her but he was aware of the time, he had work to do. Then the phone started ringing bringing them both back to reality. He leaned across her to answer it. He began to speak Greek and Danielle listened to the alien language, thinking how sexy his accent was. She began to kiss his bare chest and as he spoke his voice became quite agitated. Then he abruptly put the receiver down.
  “That was my brother, I am sorry but I have to leave you now and get to work.” His eyes filled with regret and he kissed her firmly on the lips. He reluctantly got out of the bed and got dressed. As he put on his clothes his eyes never left hers as she watched him cover up his masculine body.
  “I will see you in the bar soon, no?” He said still looking at her.
  “You will see me in the bar, yes.” Her voice was soft as she answered him. His beautiful Greek accent was enough for her to drag him back into bed, but she refrained. He kissed her again and her eyes followed him out of the door, eye contact lost when the door closed. Danielle laid there smiling trying desperately to work out what was happening to her. She soon chose to give up as she could not figure it out. She picked up her dress and put it on, the smell of Pannos present on the material. She took a deep breath breathing the memory of him in and glided back to her room. Her thoughts dominated by the lovely Pannos.
  Bill found himself walking along the beach and only a handful of people occupied the sun loungers. He walked past them oblivious to their presence. He knew he had no chance of being with the woman of his dreams but this did take the pain away that gripped hold of his heart. He suddenly came to a standstill and soon realised he was in the same spot where he had let go of his feelings to her. Various emotions swam around as he recalled those fateful words, tears welling up behind his eyes. He took a deep breath to keep them at bay. He sat on the warm sand and held his head in his hands. How could I have let this happen? He thought to himself. Why did I let myself get so close to her? Why had I let false hope rule my heart? She had told him she only wanted to be friends. He knew but secretly hoped she might change her mind. But now he knew the truth, last night had confirmed it. Instead she wanted that Greek bastard! Suddenly rage erupted as he envisioned them together and was convinced Pannos only wanted her for one thing. He was sure it would end in tears for Danielle. Well I am not going to be there for her to pick up the pieces, he thought. Those thoughts bred a surge of strength in him when he started to laugh uncontrollably. The realisation of the outcome of the situation was welcomed into his heart. Then he gathered his positive thoughts together and laughed away the tears.
  “You can have her Pannos,” he said out loud. Then he made himself a promise to never let another woman near his heart again.
  Danielle opened the door and walked into the unoccupied room.
  “Dan, is that you?” Mick shouted out from the bathroom.
  “Yes it is me. Where’s Bill?” Danielle replied flippantly. She walked over to the walkman and put the music on.
  “He was gone when I woke up. I thought he was with you.” Mick said walking out of the bathroom with only a towel around his waist. Danielle was lying on the bed with her eyes closed as Celine’s voice dominated the room. “Falling into you this dream could come true.” The words travelled through Danielle’s body as she remembered the night spent with Pannos. Then Mick noticed she still had the dress on she was wearing last night.
  “Did you have a good night Dan?” Danielle opened her eyes. She looked at Mick who had a big grin across her face.
  “Well I guess that look on your face answers my question.” Mick said smirking. He picked up his clothes and went back into the bathroom. Danielle’s thoughts went straight back to Pannos.
  Half an hour later Mick and Danielle made their way down to the bar. Mick was slightly concerned about Bill. He had no idea why he would go missing like this and just hoped he was all right. Suddenly Stuart popped up in his mind and he was taken back to when he went missing. He shook his head. No, Bill wouldn’t do anything like that to us, he thought quickly, forcing the thoughts out of his mind. As they entered the lounge Pannos was serving behind the bar. When his eyes fell on her, his face lit up with sheer happiness. Mick noticed his beaming expression and this brought a smile to his face. He felt so happy for them and had to admit they did look good together.
  “Good morning Pannos and how are you this fine morning, my friend?” Mick asked, looking straight at Pannos smirking.
  “Michael, I am feeling very happy thank you my friend.” Pannos replied, happily smiling back at Mick. Then he turned his attention to Danielle.
  “Good morning my beautiful Danielle and how are you my darling?” He took hold of her hand and kissed the back of it. Danielle’s heart fluttered and she gently squeezed his hand.
  “I am very happy thank you, ecstatically happy,” she replied staring into his brown eyes.
  “If I could just tear you two love birds apart for a few minutes, I would like a drink please, Pannos.” Mick ordered a beer and Danielle chose to have a cup of coffee. Pannos poured Mick’s beer and his eyes never left hers. No words were spoken but silent communication was obvious between them.  He had waited patiently for her to be in his reach and felt a sense of relief when she walked into the room. As soon as he had left her this morning his heart had ached for her. She was constantly in his thoughts and he could not wait to be with his beautiful Danielle again. He wanted to spend as much time with her as he could before she would be leaving his life as quickly as she had entered it. His heart sank when he thought about the day she would be going back to England. He took a deep breath and quickly put the dreaded thought to the back of his mind. When Danielle walked in all he felt was happiness and all of these untainted feelings for her escaped through his smile.
  “I would like for you to have lunch with me this afternoon,” he said placing her coffee down in front of her.
  “A good friend of mine has got a restaurant,” he continued, “and I would very much like him to meet you.” Pannos’ father was at the reception and the quietness of the room made it possible for him to hear his son’s conversation. He had never known his son to invite a girl to meet Nicos before. The look on Pannos’ face and the tone of his voice unnerved him. He did not like this English girl, something had to be said. Then Yannis walked up behind his father and noticed the harsh look on his face.
  “Yannis what is happening between Pannos and.... and that English girl?” He said his eyes still on the couple.
  “I do not like the look on your brother’s face. I hope he is not serious about her.” He turned around and looked at Yannis, his eyes boring into him like hot pokers.
  “Papa, they are just friends.” Yannis said, confused at his father’s aggression. He had never questioned his brother’s affairs before. “Danielle is ...” he began to explain but his father cut him dead.
  “I do not care what she is and I do not care what her name is. I will not allow her to get into my son’s heart!” His distinct words caused Yannis to take a step back, shocked by the tone in which they were spoken. Then the phone rang causing Pannos to look over. Yannis answered it and his father quickly left the room. Yannis lifted up the receiver indicating the call was for Pannos.

But Pannos' father has a secret of his own!!!!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Attempted murder? Surely there must be some mistake!

Pannos watched as Bill picked up his glass and continue to polish off the whole lot. Pannos looked at this man in disgust, and turned his attention back to Danielle.
  “I am sorry Danielle. You were going to answer me?” He said shaking his head at Bill’s drunken gluttony. He quickly forgot his repulsion and was once again captured by her enchanting emerald eyes. Danielle answered him and told him about the conversation with Stuart. In the back ground Yannis picked up the phone that was ringing. Everyone around was caught up in their own conversations totally unaware of Yanni’s phone call. Pannos listened carefully to what Danielle had to say but was disturbed by one of the guests waiting at the bar. He assured her they would get plenty of time to themselves very soon, and continued to serve his customer. Danielle picked up her drink and sat down next to Mick. Mick soon gave up on talking to Bill as he had passed out on the sofa, so was relieved to have Danielle to talk to. They were in deep conversation when Pannos noticed Yannis was a long time on the phone. He looked over to his brother and could see the distress in his face. He replaced the receiver and began to walk over to Mick’s table. Pannos detected something was very wrong, so he walked over to join them.
   “Michael, what really happened with Stuart tonight?” Yannis asked with a severe look on his face. His question stopped Mick in mid sentence and the two friends looked at each other confused.
  “What do you mean, Yannis?” Mick asked half-heartedly. Pannos was also intrigued by his brother’s question.
  “I have just had the police sergeant on the phone. He informed me Stuart was there and he is afraid for his life.” Silence fell as he continued. “Stuart said he saw you all in the high street and you Danielle came up to him and said you know where he is staying, and you will send Michael and Bill around in the morning to kill him. What is going on?” His ruthless words hit them like a sledge hammer.
  “The police are taking his accusations very seriously Michael, he is refusing to leave the building.” Why does he keep referring to me? Mick thought, it was Danielle who went up to him. Then Danielle very slowly went through every moment of the reunion at the restaurant. She kept looking over to Pannos insistent she was telling the truth. Mick tried his hardest to think if there was anything he had said to Stuart before he had left what he could have taken the wrong way, but could not think of anything. Pannos turned and said goodnight to the last of the guests and was relieved to know they were now alone in the bar. All Mick could say in his defence was it wasn’t true and they would have to take his word for it. He felt totally helpless.
  “Michael he wanted to come and arrest you all now. I managed to delay him but only for an hour or so,” Yannis said looking him in the eye. Mick felt physically sick. He did not want to eat prison food and he wouldn’t be able to get a beer or vodka. His imagination went into overdrive when the prospect of being arrested became apparent to him. He shook Bill for some support but had no joy because he was still unconscious. Mick realised he felt extremely sober.
  “I want to go and see him Pannos. This is ridiculous, we have done nothing wrong. I need to sort this mess out. Please get me a taxi. We cannot get arrested,” Danielle said beginning to feel really scared.
  “It is ok Danielle. I will drive you down in my father’s car. You cannot go down there alone,” Pannos interrupted. He glanced over to his brother and Yannis nodded his approval.
  “I will meet you out the front ok Danielle.” Pannos wanted to see what Stuart had to say for himself if this got out it could be very bad for business. At least he would be alone with Danielle. This wasn’t how he had planned it because Stuart had once again ruined his night with her. Pannos said something to Yannis and walked out of the room. Yannis responded by nodding and went to make himself a strong black coffee. This could turn into a long night he thought.
  “Michael, would you like a cup of coffee?” Yannis asked, holding up a small china cup.
  “Are you crazy, Yannis? I will have a large vodka and orange. When the police come to take me away for attempted murder I want to be completely wasted!” Mick answered putting his hands on his head.
  “Don’t be such a drama queen Mick, it’s not that bad.” Danielle said sternly.
  “The police are taking Stuart very seriously. If they think he is telling the truth you could all be in a lot of trouble,” Yannis said, sipping his coffee. You are not helping Yannis, Danielle thought. Then Pannos sounded his horn out the front of the hotel.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Preview of my sequel 'Paving the way'.

Chapter 1
Pannos stood at the perimeter of the airport staring up into the clear blue sky. His eyes were sore from the tears he had shed, the vision of his Danielle still vivid in his mind. As he stared into its vastness, the usual hustle and bustle of airport life carried on around him, oblivious to the pain that dominated his heart. His legs felt like jelly beneath him. His heart was beating hard in his chest, but somehow he still managed to find the strength to stay standing. He closed his cried out eyes and pictured Danielle’s face in his mind. The image of her was so clear; she was smiling at him, and her big, emerald eyes sparkled, inducing a smile to creep across his grief stricken face. He took a deep breath and breathed in the memory of the woman that had stolen his heart, filling his lungs with every precious moment spent with her.
Time soon passed him by as he reminisced back to when he held her in his arms, comforted by the thoughts conjured up in his mind. The last two weeks had been the best two weeks of his life, but now they had come to an end, and he had to get back into the normality of his so called life. Suddenly, he felt a stubborn frustration rise up from the pit of his stomach, and a harsh reality consumed him. He did not want to return to a mundane world that did not include Danielle. He wanted to have her by his side for the rest of his days; to feel her next to him while he slept; to see her laugh when he was feeling down, and to make love to her. Oh, how he yearned to make love to her. These estranged feelings brought tears to his eyes, and it took all of his mental strength not to let them fall. Opening his eyes, he looked back up into the sky. For a split second it was as if she had been just a wonderful dream. Unbelief began to rule his thoughts.
“No she was real,” he said out loud, as if to convince his deceit ridden conscience. “No my Danielle was here,” he said, his voice now just a whisper. He didn’t want her to be like the plane that had taken her away from him; to become a distant memory, soon to fade away into the horizon of his past. The pain of his loss was so unbearable that he had to force himself to pull himself together, and come to terms with the way that it had to be. He felt so powerless over the situation and hated the feeling that dominated his willpower and that overrode his control.
He put his head in his hands and had the urge to squeeze his temples, but resisted when he was suddenly interrupted by the phone ringing in his pocket. He reluctantly pulled it out and looked at the screen. When he saw his brother’s name displayed in bright green letters, Pannos felt both annoyed and relieved by the disturbance, which quickly brought him out of his despair. He thought twice about answering it and just stared at the screen until it finally stopped ringing. He felt a pang of guilt because he had ignored his brother’s phone call, but he did not have the strength to talk, not even to Yannis right at that moment. He soon convinced himself that Yannis would understand, when or if he explained himself.
As he looked around the car park, he suddenly became aware of the silence around him. The car park was deserted and a deep sense of abandonment engulfed him. He felt so lost and alone: a feeling that he had never experienced before; somehow, this began to scare him. Then he looked at his watch and realised that he had been standing there for almost two hours. So, he took a deep breath, quickly pushed the alien feelings away, and started to make his way to the car. As he climbed into the Mercedes, and turned on the engine, the familiar sound of a love song filled the car.
The sudden sound of the woman singing took his breath away, and he remembered the many times that he had sung it to Danielle. The vision of her invaded his mind again, and he had to turn the stereo off, because the memory of her lovely face induced such pain, he felt like he had been kicked in the stomach. Forcing down the tears that had violently erupted, he composed himself and began to make the short journey up to the hotel. He travelled slowly through the high street and couldn’t help noticing all the young lovers walking hand in hand down the road. They interacted passionately with each other and a pang of jealousy overwhelmed him as he watched their smiling faces.
One couple in particular caught his eye when they stopped in mid walk. The man stole a kiss from his partner, and then they carried on without a care in the world. His heart felt heavy when he was reminded that it was only a short while ago when he too was the other half of a couple, but now he had to face his life alone.
Everyone around him seemed to have that common bond of love that tied them together. This deepened his loneliness, enhancing his pain even more. He suddenly felt the need to be with his family: to be in the security of his loved ones. There, he was sure to find some kind of safety where he could come to terms with his great loss. So, he put his foot down on the accelerator and made a speedy getaway from the love struck couples who, unbeknown to them, tormented his own existence.
Once again his phone began ringing in his pocket, but this time he resisted the urge to ignore it and answered his brother, who was obviously worried about his welfare. The conversation was short; he reassured Yannis that he was alright, and that he would be with him very soon. When he hung up the phone, a smile escaped from his lips as he recalled the concern in his brother’s voice. He knew then that it would take time, but with his family’s support, he was going to be alright.
Pannos drove up the winding road that led to the hotel. He parked the car and got out. He walked to the bottom of the entrance steps, stopped and closed his eyes. The sun was high in the sky and felt very warm against his face. He let its comforting rays sink into his skin as the warmth enveloped him. Then, as if by magic, a surge of strength rose up from deep inside him, enabling him to walk up the steps to face his life as a hotel manager again. He took a deep breath, put Danielle to the back of his mind, and then walked into the hotel. Yannis was behind the reception desk and looked over to his brother. His face showed no emotion as he studied Pannos’s face for any sign of distress, and he was soon relieved when Pannos smiled and nodded his head in assurance. Pannos continued passed him and walked over to the bar where a man was standing eagerly waiting to be served.
“What can I get you sir?” He asked proudly, a wide smile dominating his face. On the outside it was if he hadn’t a care in the world, but the pain that was still raw in his heart told another story. “I will get over this,” he convinced himself, and began pouring the gentleman’s drink.
Danielle looked out of the window of the plane, tears flowing down her cheeks. The pain that she felt inside was too hard to contain, so she helplessly let the tears continue to fall. They were high up above the clouds, but the beautiful, clear blue view that surrounded her was no deterrent from how she felt. All she could think about was Pannos and the love that they had shared, which had now been cruelly snatched out of her hands. Her heart felt like it was made of lead as she recaptured every moment spent with the man of her dreams, reliving every touch, every kiss, and every heart rendering memory of being safe in his arms. Regret pierced her heart and ruled her mind at her sheer stupidity for letting him through the barrier that she had built up to protect herself: the barrier that had taken so many years to build. But now here she was, her heart broken into pieces, and in a place where she vowed never to let herself be. She sighed heavily at her weakness, clutching hold of her stomach where the root of her pain resided, provoking the tears to flow faster down her face.
“Why did I let this happen?” she thought. “How did I let this happen?” She closed her eyes as a picture of Pannos spontaneously came into her mind. She wanted to rid herself of the vision, but found that she couldn’t, and she realised that she didn’t want to lose the memory of his handsome face.
Mick was sitting next to Danielle, and his heart went out to his heartbroken friend. He had watched her stare out of the window and felt helpless to her sorrow. He tried his hardest to take her mind off Pannos by telling a few jokes, but she was oblivious to his jibes. He wanted to tell her that it was all going to be alright, but these words seemed so powerless he chose not to speak them. He turned to Bill, who was seated the other side to him, but he had his eyes closed and was lost in his own thoughts. Then, to Mick’s relief, the stewardess came down the aisle pushing the drinks trolley. As he thought back to the promise he had made to himself, uneasiness took over his body. Suddenly, fear consumed him at the prospect of him never drinking again, and the determination he had felt earlier vanished into thin air.
“I will do this,” he thought, trying to claim back his strength. “But, technically my holiday doesn’t end until we are back in England.” He finally convinced himself. These thoughts triggered his fears to disperse as quickly as they had appeared.
“Yes sir, what can I get you?” The pretty, dark haired stewardess asked smiling. He hadn’t even been aware that he had his hand up, when he suddenly realised that she was speaking to him. He guessed that they had been in the air for about two hours, so he thought carefully about his answer.
“Oh, yes a drink. Could I have a large.....” he hesitated and turned to Danielle who was still staring out of the window. “Sorry could you make that two large vodka and oranges please; one for my friend.”
“If she doesn’t drink it, it will save me ordering another one later,” he thought strategically. The stewardess gave him his requested drinks and then carried on down the aisle, smiling professionally at her potential customers. Mick took a big sip of his drink and relished the peace that it enticed. Confidence soon made an entry as he imagined his life of sobriety.
“I can beat this, and I will beat this,” he thought self-assuredly. “When I am home it will be easier.”
Bill’s mind was racing with all kinds of thoughts, but Danielle was his main concern. He tried desperately to wipe her out of his mind by thinking about being back at home, but she would sneak uncontrollably back into his thoughts. He could see how deeply upset she was, and felt an irrepressible need to put his arms around her, just like he used to when she was hurting. He felt so confused because of the pain that she had caused him, but somehow that did not seem to matter now. As far as he was concerned, Pannos was three thousand miles behind them, out of sight and out of her reach, where he belonged. Tears stung the back of his eyes as he remembered them being together, inducing a familiar pain to penetrate his heart. He opened his eyes and looked over at Danielle. He could see the tears glistening on her cheek, and was mesmerised by them as he watched them roll down her face, and then fall onto her arm that was lying across her stomach.
“Why couldn’t she feel like that towards me?” he thought regretfully. “Why couldn’t she love me like she loved him?”
 He closed his eyes again, instantly stopping his tears from escaping, took a deep breath, and quickly prompted his thoughts to move on to something else.
 They spent the rest of the journey in silence. The excitement of all the other passengers filled the air, but it was if a dark cloud of sadness hung over the three friends. Then the sound of the captain filled the plane, as he informed them that they were now coming into land. Danielle was brought out of her thoughts by his voice, as she mindlessly put on her seat belt. She wiped away her tears and consciously put Pannos to the back of her mind. Suddenly, she felt an excitement stir up in her stomach at the thought of seeing her three children again; this encouraged a smile to form on her face. Her strength made a comeback as she pictured her babies in her mind.
“I will get over this,” she thought positively. “I have to for their sake.” She realised then that she felt better as her excitement overruled her sadness.
The plane brought them back into their world safely, and the same stewardess who had pushed the drinks trolley told the passengers that it was safe to leave the aircraft. Bill was the first to get off, closely followed by Mick and Danielle. They were led off the plane in single file, and as they walked through the airport lounge, the three friends found themselves walking side by side. Danielle looked at Mick and smiled. No words were said as he put his arm around her and kissed her head. He felt so relieved to see her smiling again that he gently squeezed her side. For once he didn’t feel the need to say something funny as the three friends went to get their suitcases. They were waited patiently for their luggage when Danielle walked up beside Bill. She felt awkward as she stood by his side, but she really wanted to say something to him. Her words swam around in her head, unable to reach her mouth, blocked by her guilt. Bill became aware that she was there. He looked at her and smiled half-heartedly.
“B-Bill...” she said shakily. “Bill I am so sorry. I did not mean to hurt you. The whole situation took me by surprise.” She looked down at the ground, frightened to show the shame that her eyes portrayed for ruining their friendship.
“Dan, it is ok babe,” Bill replied, recognising the sincerity in her voice.  “That is all in the past now, and I am sorry too. It’s not all down to you sweetheart, and I really hope we can be friends again.” His words were genuine as he put his arm around her and gave her a big hug. The thought of never seeing that Greek man again reassured him that their friendship had a good chance of restoration, and this made him squeeze her tighter.
Mick looked over at the friend’s embrace and smiled at the heart warming reunion. He still felt slightly guilty about what had happened between Pannos and Danielle, but he convinced himself that now they were back on English soil, everything would get back to how it used to be. He also hoped that he and Pannos could still be friends, and that they would keep in touch. They were, after all, like brothers, and this, he guessed, would not change.
Mick decided to catch up with his two friends, so began walking towards them, but as he got closer, his sandal got caught on the step and he went flying into the back of Bill’s legs. Bill was taken by surprise as his legs buckled beneath him, and was more than shocked when he noticed Mick sprawled out on the floor.
“Mick, what are you doing?” Bill said, not knowing whether to laugh or be concerned for his clumsy friend.
“These bloody Greek...” Mick said without thinking, then stopped when he became aware of what he was about to say. “These bloody English steps, they are everywhere.” Mick burst out, laughing at his humiliation, causing Both Bill and Danielle to follow suit. All three of them were laughing hysterically, causing everyone around them to stop and look at them, curious at what was going on. They were yet again the centre of attention, and Mick, being Mick, was the culprit behind the disturbance. Bill bent down to help his friend up off of the floor, tears of joy streaming down his face.
“Thanks Bill me ole mate. It’s good to be home. Hello England, we are back!”
Danielle thought her sides were going to split as she watched Bill haphazardly pick Mick up off of the floor, tears were now streaming down her face. She suddenly became aware of her tears, and felt relieved that they were tears of happiness. She had successfully locked Pannos away in a vacant box in her mind, and was pleased that she had managed to do so. Mick was now standing, so she was stood in-between her two closest friends. The three of them claimed their luggage and made their way to the taxi rank to take the final part of their journey home.
To their relief, an empty taxi was at hand, so they made their way over to it and began to put their luggage in the boot. Bill took hold of Danielle’s suitcase, so she took the opportunity to phone her mother to let her know that she would be home in about forty five minutes.
Danielle was overjoyed when she heard the voice from home, and was pleased to be told that everyone was at Danielle’s house eagerly waiting her return. Excitement bubbled in her stomach: she could not wait to be with her family again. She was pleased and relieved that Bill seemed to be alright with her, and she felt honoured because he was willing to salvage what was left of their friendship. She looked over at Bill who was shutting the boot of the taxi, and smiled. He was so special to her, and she couldn’t believe that she had nearly ruined the close bond that they shared. She knew that her feelings for him were platonic, and was somehow relieved that he now knew it too; nothing or no one could ever take that away.
“Come on Dan, time to get you home.” Bill said enthusiastically, pulling open the back door of the taxi.
“I can’t wait to see my babies.” Danielle squeaked excitedly. “And thanks Bill, you are a true mate.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and got into the car.   
The atmosphere in the taxi was electric as Mick had everyone laughing at his silly ways, and Pannos was not mentioned at all. They spoke about Stuart, and all three of them wondered whether he had been in the King’s Head, and if he had, what had he said. Danielle felt guilt raise its ugly head as they went through the whole Stuart saga. She hoped that he had found the help that he needed, and when they met again, he would be the same Stuart that had first come away with them. Feeling a positive conclusion would come of the Stuart situation, she focused her mind back on being reunited with her children again.
Pannos came to the forefront of her mind many times, but she skilfully managed to push him out of her thoughts. The memory of him still provoked a terrible pain in her heart, so she did not want to put herself back in that place unnecessarily. She had now accepted that this great love story had come to an end, and when the time was right, she would have the strength to think back to those wonderful times. 
They had been on the motorway for forty minutes, and thankfully it had been traffic free. Danielle’s heart skipped a beat when she saw the familiar sight of the local Holiday Inn, a sure sign of coming onto home ground.
“In five minutes I will be back under my own roof,” she thought, realising just how homesick she felt. She couldn’t wait to be in the comfort of her own home, and have her children in her sight again. Then, as she had predicted, five minutes later, the taxi took up her road. She directed the driver to her front door. Bill got out first to help her with her suitcase as Danielle opened the car door. She had only had time to get one leg out when the front door of her house flew open, and a very excited Charlie came running out, followed closely by Marie. Charlie proceeded to run around the side of the car, and flung his arms around his mother, kissing her frantically on the cheek. She managed to pull herself out of the car with Charlie hanging around her neck like a baby monkey. She dropped her bag on the floor to free her arms and held her son so tightly that she was in danger of crushing his ribs.
“Mummy, mummy, I have missed you so much.” Charlie said continuing to kiss her face. “Have you got me a present?” was his next statement, causing Danielle to laugh out loud.
“First things first, Charlie,” She said, looking into her son’s gleaming, brown eyes. “I missed you too sweetheart.” She said, trying to prize his arms off of her neck, without much success. “And, yes I have got you a present.”  This seemed to do the trick; his grip loosened and he dropped to the ground. Then Marie came up to her; she had been patiently waiting at the curb side for her mother’s attention, and flung her arms around her, squeezing her tight.
“Mum, I have missed you, and I am so glad that you are home. Wow mum, you are so brown.” Marie said, taking a step back and looking her mother up and down. Then she suddenly remembered herself and flung her arms back around her mother again.
“Have you got me a present too?” she asked jokingly, and both of them started laughing as Danielle nodded her head.
“I wouldn’t forget you, my beautiful girl.” This time Danielle eyed her daughter up and down. “My beautiful grown-up girl, you have got to be two inches taller than when I left. That’s amazing. I can’t believe how much you have grown.”  Danielle cuddled her daughter tighter as pride overwhelmed her. She looked over to the doorway of her house where her mother, brother and sister in-law were standing at the threshold, smiling at their heartfelt embrace. Suddenly, Danielle’s mind filled with confusion when she realised that one person was missing.
“Where is Billy?” she said. Tears began to sting the back of her eyes as she pulled away from Marie. Induced by his absence, her heart felt like it was going to stop, but then Tony moved out of the way, clearing a space for Billy to appear.
“I am here mum, you didn’t think that I would miss being here to meet you did you?” Billy said, a big grin staining his face as he walked towards his mother. The cloud of confusion quickly lifted from Danielle’s mind as she watched her son walk towards her, and a huge smile swept across her face.
“Billy, oh Billy, it is so good to see you,” she said, putting her arms out to claim her firstborn son. “Look at you, you have grown too, and you are more handsome than ever.” She fought back her tears as he walked into her outstretched arms and hugged her. It felt so good to have him in her arms again. As she kissed his cheeks, time seemed to stand still. Then, Bill placed her suitcase down next to her, and she was forced to let him go.
“Sorry Dan, but we have got to get going; the meter is ticking away here.”  Bill said, feeling bad that he had to interrupt the happy reunion. He was feeling very tired from the journey and longed to be back at home. So, Billy picked up his mother’s suitcase, as Danielle said goodbye to her dear friends, and walked into the house, followed by his brother and sister. Meanwhile, Danielle watched the taxi disappear out of her road, then, taking a deep breath, walked into her house to be with her family.