Everyone hates Mondays, right? The weekend's over and it's time to go back to work or school. My favourite feeling is sitting down and being absorbed in a book. All your problems are left behind and you worry only about the people you're reading about. This Monday - a particularly soggy one at that (for me at least) - I'm giving you the first chapter of Daisy one hundred percent free. I hope you enjoy it!
“I’m not saying this because I’m fed up of rescuing you from the side of the road, because you know I’d do anything to help you out, but don’t you think it’s time you bought yourself a new car?”
Daisy sat with her hands intertwined in the grass at the side of the A30, the
Toyota, which had been
like a best friend to her for the past nine years, had let her down once again.
“The car is fine. I’m sure she just needs a bit of TLC.”
“It’ll be fine,” Daisy wiped the grass from her jeans. “And anyway, it’s not like I can afford a new one.”
“What you mean by that is you’re not willing to spend money on a new one.”
Tara, you know I’m saving.”
“Yes, yes, I know, you’re saving up to start up your own business. You’ve told me many times before. But when are you actually planning on starting this business?”
“It’s not something you can just jump into. You need money and a lot of other things.”
“Well, I think I must have misjudged it a bit, because I’m still not quite ready.”
“More like you’re too chicken to take the risk, ‘cause you’re afraid of failing.”
It was times like this when Daisy hated her best friend’s ability to see right through her. She’d hit the nail straight on the head.
“We are in a recession at the moment. Many new businesses are struggling to survive. I’m waiting until the market flattens out a bit. Then I’ll give it a go.”
“No, you won’t. You’ll find another excuse and before you know it you’ll be married, with children, and your dream of being an artist will be just that, a dream.”
“You don’t have to go worrying about that. I’m not going to get married nor have children. I have plenty of time to start my business.”
“We’ll see about that.” Before Daisy had a chance to reply,
said, “Come on, let’s hook her up.”
They drove home in silence. It wasn’t until they were back in front of Daisy’s cottage that she remembered she’d never made it to the supermarket in Cullompton.
“I’d invite you in for dinner, but I think the only edible thing I’ve got in my cupboards is beans on toast.” Daisy unhooked her car from the back of Tara’s four-by-four, glad that
Tara had ignored her
whinging about how such a large car was bad for the environment and had bought
“We could go out for dinner. They’ve got an offer on steak at that restaurant on the corner. Two for one.”
Daisy grabbed a scarf from a peg by the front door and they walked to the pub-come-restaurant around the corner.
The bell above the door jingled as
Tara opened it.
“Not more customers. This offer on steak was certainly a good idea Bill, but we don’t have half the amount of space needed to cater for such a large number of people.”
“No space for us then?”
Tara winked at the guy behind the
“No sweat heart, not a table free. However, if you go sit out back with a glass of bubbly we’ll be sure to call you in as soon as possible.”
“One glass of red and –”
“A gin and tonic.” Daisy delved into her handbag and produced a ten pound note from the side pocket where she kept her emergency change.
Tara took a large sip from her glass of wine and sat down
on a swinging seat, relieved that it wasn’t raining, even if it was a bit
“So how long do you think we’ll be waiting for?” Daisy asked.
There was more seating outside than there was inside and everything except for one table was full.
“Hour or so,”
Tara took another sip from her glass. “Hum, would you look
Tara’s gaze to the man who had just walked
outside through the patio doors. His jeans had a hole in the left knee, and his
shirt sleeves were scruffy around the cuffs. He reached up and slid his red
tinted glasses onto the top of his head, revealing deep blue eyes.
“Ah, a male,” Daisy said, uncertain what all the fuss was about. It seemed like the eyes from almost every female and a few males sitting outside had been drawn to the man in the doorway, like a paper clip to a magnet.
“He’s absolutely gorgeous,”
Tara exclaimed. She
watched the door in search of his partner, but he seemed to be alone. “Gotta
get me his phone number by the end of the night.”
“Wow, he just looked at me,”
Tara dug Daisy in the ribs,
making her flinch.
“He’s not looking at you,” Daisy hissed. “He’s looking for somewhere to sit.”
“Room for a small one?”
The voice distracted them from their whispered argument and they both looked up at the same time in amazement.
“I’m Ricardo,” he said, sitting down on the swing between them.
“Not really. My parents just like foreign names. I’m English born and bred.”
Daisy sat in silence as
Tara and Ricardo discussed each of
his siblings’ names, what they meant and where they came from. His back was
permanently turned on her, his body blocking her view of Tara.
Daisy felt alone.
Half an hour and two spritzers later Daisy sat on the swinging seat and welcomed the slightly dazed state caused by the alcohol, which made listening to Tara’s attempts at flirting with Ricardo slightly more bearable.
“Want a nut?”
Tara proffered the bowl, which was now half empty.
Daisy giggled. “I don’t think the nuts are doing much in regards to soaking up all this alcohol.”
“It’s the weekend. Who cares? We’ve always got tomorrow to recover.”
Before she met
Tara, Daisy had spent the majority of her life
stone cold sober. It was something to do with her mother not having enough
money to buy alcohol and Ben, her stepfather, not allowing alcohol of any sort
into the house. Even though she’d left home at sixteen she’d never been much of
Daisy popped a nut into her mouth, but before she had chance to take another one the bowl was swept out of her grasp and thrust in Ricardo’s direction.
“I’m all nutted out,” Ricardo announced, sending
into fits of giggles although Daisy didn’t see why.
“Table for four for Mr Jones,” a man who Daisy assumed must be Bill called out. “Do you guys want some music out here?”
Music blared from speakers on the side of the building and the grass lawn turned into a dance floor. Daisy groaned and wondered how much longer they’d be kept waiting, and whether beans on toast at home would be a more preferable option.
“Come on sweet cheeks, let’s dance.”
After a while despite the loud music Daisy’s eye lids began to droop.
“Hey, wake up, it’s our turn now,”
Tara shook Daisy out of her slumber.
Ricardo was still attached to her arm.
“You know, I think I’ll just go home,” Daisy said. The chilly, autumn air had raised goose bumps on her arms, beneath her thick, woollen sweater, and she didn’t feel very hungry. All she wanted to do was curl up in her nice warm bed and fall asleep.
“What about the offer? Two for one.”
“There are two of you.” In her sleep induced state Daisy missed the desperate looks
Tara was throwing her way and without knowing it she
walked out of the restaurant having set Tara and Ricardo up on their first and
If you enjoyed this, you can buy the rest of the book HERE.