Monday, June 19, 2006

Girl Talk

Growing up, I've always benefitted from close girl friends in who I can confide, be it about boys or school, or hopes and dreams. Even now, I still have girls night out, though the pool of single friends is growing smaller year by year, and when we do get together, there's more talk about kids and nappy changes LOL!

I couldn't help but blend in this wonderful gift into my story, Can You Keep A Secret? Margie, best friend to our heroine, Penny, is a riot, and I've so far been asked whether she'll get her own story. Time will tell (*she laughs wickedly*) but for now, I want to celebrate the joys of best gal pals with an excerpt.


"So, what’s new, baby?" Margie asked, patting Penny’s knee. "Tell me all about it."

"Governor’s Ball with Dad."

Margie groaned. "Yes, I saw you in the Who’s Who column again."

The drawling tone of Margie’s voice made Penny cackle with laughter. Ben’s career was one of Margie’s pet hates, and she insisted he stop using Penny as arm candy every time they talked. But she understood Penny’s position, too, with her own family thrust so pointedly in the spotlight. Being the daughter of two highly renowned actors, Margie knew the pressure of responsibility.

"And work?"

Penny’s cheeks heated. "Work’s fine."

"Fine? Are you trying to con me?"

Penny smiled. "Me? Never. Work is A-ok."

"So why have your cheeks turned beetroot red, and why is there sweat on your upper lip? You’re not telling me everything."

Ain’t that the truth, Penny thought wearily. Weakened by the emergence of her inner vixen, Penny wasn’t sure she possessed the strength to resist Margie’s probing. When those words appeared on the little red card at lunchtime, enticing Jesse with absolute confidence, she’d almost thrown the gift away.

She had no idea where such a naughty little poem came from, and even less of an idea how she managed to sneak into his cubicle and actually leave the present for him to find. It wasn’t like her meek and mild self at all.

Feeling Margie try to break down her defences, Penny resigned to the inevitable and gave in. "We’re having Christmas in July. A Secret Santa present exchange and a trip to the ski fields."

Margie’s eyes grew wide and hungry for details. "And who are you playing Santa for?"

Margie really had a way with words, Penny thought, as more visions of her playing Santa for Jesse bombarded her. Sheesh, the night wasn’t even over yet. "Just one of the reporters," she said with an air of carelessness that didn’t convince Margie one iota.

"And what are you planning to buy for this mystery reporter?"

Penny shrugged, but she could see Margie wasn’t buying the act. After all, of the two of them in the room, Penny wasn’t a professionally paid actor. "Just a few little things, nothing expensive."

"Just a few little things that, what? Make him think you’re interested?"

"Margaret!" Penny sat up. "I would never."

Oh, but she did, and the wicked pleasure it gave her bloomed in her chest again.

"If you want my advice," Margie winked. "Be bad. Be very, very bad."

Reaching out, Penny playfully punched Margie’s arm. The woman was such a rebel.

"You know I couldn’t."


Million-dollar question, that. Why? Why, indeed. "Because."

Penny pushed up to her feet, knowing that if she didn’t try for the door now, she’d be here all night pouring out her plan to Margie. Their friendship had never been about boy talk. Sure Margie was there when Caldwell said it wasn’t working and when Thomas walked out. Just like she’d been there for Margie through two divorces. But that was it. No sex advice, no girl talk, no boy talk.

"And just where do you think you’re going, little lady?" Margie laughed. "I want details."

"Honey, I’m tired." Penny slipped her trouser button back into its loop. "Dinner was exquisite, as always. And the company," she leant down and kissed Margie’s cheek. "Divine. I gotta run."

At the front door, Margie stopped her one last time. "Promise me one thing."

"What’s that?"

"That you take a chance, do what your heart desires. Forget all the stuffiness you grew up with, forget deportment and what’s expected of a woman. Screw it all to hell. You deserve lust, love and some damn good sex. Go get it."


And in celebration of my boss putting on another Christmas in July this year (*here we go again!*) I'm giving away a free download of Can You Keep A Secret? All you need to do is reply to this post and tell me the best Christmas present you've ever received. I'll draw a name out of a hat and pop back in later today with the winner!


Laura Rose Middleton


Blogger Night Diva Maria said...

HA! Looks like I'm the first to comment :D Great excerpt! Ok best Christmas present? One not bought of course! My mother gave me the quilt that her mother handmade- from the material of my mother's first job at a shirt factory! A little of both of them in one gift! I cried at it's beauty both physical and emotional. A gift I will always treasure. Best of sales Laura!! *smooches* from Night Diva

5:02 AM  
Blogger Bec said...

I think my favourite Christmas gift was given to me while living in Turkey. In a muslim country, I hadn't expected any one of the women I caught the bus with, to care about me getting the day off for Christmas day!

I was wonderfully surprised! I got on the bus to be greeted by all those familiar, smiling faces, they had each made me a small Christmas card and attached it to a little bag of chocolates or baklava or turkish delight!

All the way home they encouraged me to sing them Christmas carols, checked that their knowledge of Christmas day was accurate and asked what my family did to celebrate the day. When I stepped off at my stop a chorus of "Iyi Tatilar" (Happy Holiday) followed me onto the footpath!

I don't think I have ever felt so warmly cherished as I did that day! It was a celebration of culture, humanity and womanhood...all in one!!!

6:41 AM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

The best christmas gift I got would be finding out during the holidays I was expecting my first child.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Deborah Chan said...

Otherwise than Valentines Day, I think Christmas maybe the next busy day for marriage proposals. Yep, I got engaged on Christmas day which was the best present ever.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

My sinsational trip to Vegas. *g*

9:01 AM  
Blogger Shuck Ying said...

The best christmas gift(s) would be hand-made presents that my kids made when they were kids. Who could resist those lop-sided angels, lol. I still put those decorations on the Christmas tree.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Cherie J said...

The best Christmas girt I got was one my husband gave me the first year we were married. He gave me a gorgeous 14 kt gold charm bracelet with heart shaped locks and keys to open the hearts. Talk about romantic. What lady does not like to know she has the key to her husbands heart. I still smile when I think of it.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Pam P. said...

My favorite Christmas presents are the home-made ones from my nieces and nephews. When they're young, they are so excited to make their own presents, and besides those that are lopsided, as said above, lol, some came out quite good and are used around my house--clay holders and ashtrays, painted tiles used for hot plates, decorated bottles and some with sand art. Some of them ended up with the crafter gene which eluded me, lol.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Estella said...

Excerpt was a good tease. The best Christmas present I was given was to find out my grandson(age 9) was cancer free after 4 years of treatment.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

The best one was a scanner/printer/copier combo i got from mysister. She knew I wanted a printer and for once I got what I wanted.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Laura Rose said...

Ladies, ladies! What a fine collection of presents. For me, it was the year I moved into my brand spanking new house that I built (well, not with my own hands, LOL). As a single woman, I was so proud of myself.

Maria - how are ya Diva girl? That gift sounds like it had a lot of significance!

Bec - WOW Were you away from your family as well, because that would have been hard to spend CHristmas overseas, but I'm sure those unexpected gifts would have helped!

Lisa - last Christmas my best friend revealed that she was pregnant. After having lost her first child the January before, it sure was a special moment.

Deborah - yep, marriage proposals often pop up at Christmas, along with cute puppies :)

Melj - sinsational? You naughty girl you!

shuck ying - oh, my mother has kept every gift we've given her too. Her Christmas tree will probably fall over this year, LOL.

Cherie - I'm green with envy

Pam - homemade gifts are the best! Last year, my sisters and I got together one Saturday afternoon to make Christmas cards (yep, we're scrapbookers and stampers). I think, all up, we made about 200 cards

Estella - how lovely for your family. What a blessing!

Tamara - what a great sister! I have two of them, so I know how it feels, LOL

All in all, when I gather with my family at each Christmas, no matter who's house it's at, seeing every one of their loving faces is precious enough.

I'll pop back in very soon with the winner!

7:18 PM  

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