Today I have an excerpt for the book And A Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills hosted by Neverland Book Tours.
Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.
A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!
Daisy, bless her, thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.
They were supposed to be saving up for a place of their own (owned jointly that is, and not just by Freddie as was the case at the moment), something a little more substantial and not in the middle of hundreds of similar houses. So Freddie kept a close eye on expenditure, though he happily treated himself to the occasional Ralph Lauren sweater, and Daisy never uttered a word. She didn’t feel she could, not when he earned more than double the wage she brought home.
Taking her glass of wine with her, she grabbed the “me” bags and trundled up the stairs, with the intention of stashing her ill-gotten booty in the never-used spare room, and drip-feeding them into the wardrobe, one sneaky item at a time.
But first, she wanted to change into something a little more elasticated. The waistband of her work trousers was digging uncomfortably into her stomach – the result of too many pre-Christmas parties (plus the daily mince pies Joyce brought into work and insisted on everyone eating).
She dropped her parcels on the landing by the door to the spare room, which was always kept firmly closed because there was nothing spare about that room – it was full to bursting with assorted junk, more like the “dump-it-in-and-shut-the-door-quick” room, and went into their bedroom. The state of the bed gave her a brief flash of annoyance and dismay. She’d left earlier than usual this morning, wanting to get as much done as possible before absconding for the rest of the day, leaving Freddie with the duvet pulled up to his chin and his eyes tightly shut. He hadn’t even bothered to straighten the duvet when he’d gotten out of it. And he’d left a couple of glasses on the bedside table, and-
Daisy picked up one of the glasses, kicking a scatter cushion out of the way, and sniffed at the contents of the glass.
Was her boyfriend a secret lush?
And what was that smell? The unfamiliar aftershave (if that’s what it was, and not some new cleaning product – Freddie had a habit of buying the latest item on TV guaranteed to make your home smell fresh; he was responsible for the berry and spice plug-in in the living room) mingled with an almost animal aroma. It reminded her of the way their bedroom smelled after a good session in bed. Not that they’d had a good session, or even a not-so-good session, lately. They hadn’t “done it” for a long time, if she was honest. A quick jump in the sack now and again, often over far too quickly, was all she and Freddie had managed in months.
Daisy opened the window to air the room out, then picked up the duvet from the floor and flung it on the bed.
Those were not her shoes.
For one thing, they were far too strappy and summery (gold sandals on a wet Wednesday afternoon in Worcester? Really?) for this time of year, and for another, they were huge.
Heart hammering, Daisy placed one of her feet alongside the shoe. Maybe they were hers after all, and Freddie had taken them out of the wardrobe for some reason, though she couldn’t remember having ever bought gold shoes before.
But Daisy was a size five. These had to be a size nine at the very least.
Oh god! Everything fell into place – Freddie’s comprehensive knowledge of the contents of her wardrobe, his insistence on coming with her whenever she went clothes shopping (what man in his right mind wanted to shop for clothes with his wife or girlfriend?) and his “just so” attention to details, like what colour lipstick she had on, or how she wore her hair.
Freddie was a cross dresser. There was no other explanation.
Thanks for reading