How utterly exciting is this?
I am over the moon to have been asked to take part in the blog tour for What a Girl Wants, not only because it is a brilliant sequal to last years About a Girl, but because I get to host such fabulousness on my Birthday!!
I am in love with these two books, I really can't gush about them enough. You so need to buy them. Today I have the prologue to share with you, and some fun What a Girl Wants clips. So if that isn't enough to have you wanting more and clicking them links to buy, I really don't know what is.
For us who have already read them, I ask you this. Team Charlie or Team Nick?
Tess Brookes was the girl with a plan.
Now she’s the girl with a choice.
Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick?
For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.
About the book:
About the author:
Lindsey Kelk is a British writer and used to be a children’s book editor. When she isn’t writing, reading, listening to music or watching more TV than is healthy, Lindsey likes to wear shoes, shop for shoes and judge the shoes of others. She loves living in New York but misses Sherbert Fountains, London and drinking Gin & Elderflower cocktails with her friends. Not necessarily in that order.
You can get in touch with Lindsey and see what she's up to using the following links.
What a Girl Wants
On the one hand, you might have said my day wasn’t going terribly well.
But on the other, I had told Amy that I wanted to make big changes in my life and there weren’t many lifestyle changes more signiﬁcant than swapping a luxury Italian palazzo for a prison cell.
And my second prison cell in two weeks, at that. Clearly I was going for some sort of record. It was one thing to say you wanted to start over, it was another thing to start over as someone on the ‘no ﬂy’ list because you were considered an international ﬂight risk. I was almost certain the generally accepted way of society was to go the other way.
I took a deep breath, blew it out hard and examined my bitten-down ﬁngernails while trying to remain calm and wait for someone to appear and make this entire mess go away. Ideally someone I knew, accompanied by someone with a working knowledge of the Italian legal system, but at this point, as long as they didn’t have a gun, a pair of handcuffs or a pointy stick, I’d be happy. And if they did have a gun, a pair of handcuffs or a pointy stick, but also came bearing biscuits, I’d probably be just as happy. Did everyone get this hungry in prison? Had I missed dinnertime?
‘This is what happens when you’re too busy working to watch telly, like normal people,’ I admonished myself. ‘If I’d watched Bad Girls or Cell Block H like Amy, instead of doing my homework, I would know these things.’
I traced a shallow line in the cement ﬂoor with the bare big toe on my good foot and wondered how it got there in the ﬁrst place. I’d been thoroughly searched on my way in and anything that might have hacked a seven-inch gash in a concrete ﬂoor had been removed from my person. Hairgrips, the belt from my dress, even my bra. I had nothing left on me but my knickers and my beau-tiful bright pink dress. At least, most of it was still bright pink – there was quite a lot of muck and a few well-placed splotches of blood around the hem. But still, I had told Kekipi not to give me a dress with a train, so this was entirely his fault. Well, apart from all the bits that were my fault. Which was most of them.
Making a noise that sounded a little bit like a frustrated walrus, I rolled myself onto my side, the rough concrete of the bench scratching against my skin. At least they had been consistent in their decorating, I thought. Very clear message: minimalist, spare, modern. And it really only smelled very faintly of piss. However, my hair had not fared well in the evening’s adventures and since no one in the police station had considered serum a basic human right, it was an unmanageable, knotted mess. I attempted to run my ﬁngers through the dark copper curls, working them out slowly. If nothing else, it would pass the time until my fairy godlawyer appeared and made everything OK. I lasted about seventy-four seconds before I got bored and gave up. Plus, I really was hungry.
‘Excuse me,’ I called in a weak but terribly polite voice. ‘Excuse me? Is anyone there?’
Everything had been such a loud, Italiano, excitable mess on my way in that I couldn’t quite recall exactly what had happened. I remembered being pulled out of the car by the overenthusiastic police ofﬁcer but with my hands cuffed behind my back and my hair ﬂouncing around in my eyes, I had focused all my energy on not falling over, given that I was basically lame on one foot and wearing a full-length ballgown. After that there had been some shouting and some crying, both by me, then a woman police ofﬁcer had come over, tutted a lot, then taken away my aforementioned stabbier items. At some point, a phone had been thrust into my hands but the only numbers I knew by heart were Amy’s and Charlie’s and there was no way on God’s green earth that Charlie was going to speak to me – which only left me with one option. And of course, Amy’s number went straight to voicemail. The next thing I knew, I was shoved back here with an antiseptic wipe for my foot and two plasters. Apparently you couldn’t kill yourself with two plasters.
I could hear the distant sounds of a busy police station beyond the reinforced walls, lots of doors slamming and distant sirens, but apparently no one could hear me. Or if they did, they didn’t care.
I was starting to lose my English temper.
‘Is anybody even there?’ I shouted from my concrete block. ‘Helloooo?’
Of course. When you wanted some privacy, there was an entire wedding’s worth of people around to witness your felonious behaviour, but when you were wondering whether or not it was possible to get a cup of tea and a biscuit, nothing but crickets.
No one was coming. No one cared. Nick didn’t care, Charlie didn’t care, Amy was otherwise engaged, and who on earth knew where she would be by now?
Just as I was considering fashioning a Blue Peter-style pillow out of my frock, there was a loud kerfufﬂe along the corridor: raised voices, jangling keys and a lot of scufﬂing. Ooh, maybe I was getting a cellmate.
I sat up straight, my heart pounding.
Shit! Maybe I was getting a cellmate.
Gathering my skirts up around my waist, I stood up and held my breath. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to achieve with my ready-to-pounce pose – I was still in a ten by ten cement cell with iron bars where a door should be – but whatever was coming my way, I was ready for it. Unless she or he was bigger than me, in which case they would be wearing me like a glove puppet by dawn. I was not cut out for life on the inside. I would make a terrible prison wife, I had no discernible crafting talents, and the time Amy tried to give me an amateur tattoo with her compass and a pot of Indian ink she nicked from the art room, I passed out behind the human-ities block and missed the ﬁrst ten minutes of my mock French GCSE.
Before I could work out the appropriate way to greet a fellow criminal in a language I couldn’t speak (not an easy task without my iPhone), two navy-clad ofﬁcers burst through the door to the cell block, shouting at each other and the blur of arms and legs they held between them. I stepped back into the corner, trying to tie the skirts of my dress into a manageable knot in case I needed my legs free for kicking but there was no time. While I was fafﬁng with the fabric, a third police ofﬁcer was sliding open the bars so his mates could chuck my new best friend in beside me.
Only it wasn’t my new best friend.
It was very much my old best friend.
‘Police brutality!’ Amy shouted, scrambling to her feet and grabbing at the cell bars as the polizia scarpered as fast as possible. ‘I’m totally writing to my MP about this! As soon as I ﬁnd out who my MP is.’
‘Amy?’ My skirts slipped out of my hand and fell to the ﬂoor with a damp slap.
‘Tess!’ She turned towards me, all wide eyes and ﬁlthy face, and ﬂew over, wrapping her arms tightly around my cold shoulders. ‘You’re OK!’
‘I think we’re both pretty far from OK,’ I pointed out, glancing around at our less than salubrious surroundings. ‘What’s going on? Is Kekipi with you? They let me call someone and I called you but I got your voicemail.’
‘Oh, no way!’ She let go of my arms and laughed, before collapsing happily on my concrete block. ‘I called you! How funny is that?’
‘So funny that I might throw up,’ I replied, awkwardly folding myself up on the ﬂoor. My knees had decided that standing up was overrated. ‘Where’s Kekipi?’
‘Don’t know; I didn’t see him after they locked me up.’ Amy placed her hands behind her head and closed her eyes, her own ﬂoor-length gown having actually fared quite well. At least, hers didn’t have any blood on it. ‘I’m sure he’s coming. I’ve got to hand it to you – you don’t do things by halves these days. No one could accuse you of being boring any more, could they?’
I crawled forward a couple of feet and wrapped my hands around the bars, pushing my nose out as far as it would go and trying not to cry. I thought of Nick and the look on his face. I thought of Al and how disap-pointed he would be in me when he found out about all of this. And I thought of Charlie and how I could possibly ever make things up to him. Snifﬁng at the empty corridor and staring up at the full moon through a tiny window across the way, I sighed.
‘No,’ I said to a half-asleep Amy. ‘No one could accuse me of being boring.’