The Single Girls Calendar by Erin Green is published by Aria Fiction on 1 February 2018, in ebook format.
Today, to celebrate publication, Aria Fiction have allowed me to share this extract with you.
The MacDonald Burlington hotel looked nothing like Esmé imagined. Esmé envisaged that her arrival at the grand establishment would be on a warm summer’s day in June. Where she’d step from a glistening horse drawn carriage, in a beautiful bridal gown and glide through the entrance hall upon the arm of her new husband. They’d smile inanely and be met by the sweet smell of honeysuckle and delicate white roses amidst a cloud of gypsophila.
Instead, she stood alone, at ten minutes to ten, on a dark chilly March night staring up at the intricate masonry of the hotel façade, where sculptured ladies with pert breasts and scanty togas frowned at her from a great height. Esmé grimaced. She’d heard enough excuses from Andrew regarding pert breasts and cheap decoration.
Behind her, New Street railway station hummed with the busy footfall of travellers despite the late hour.
‘When did an impromptu hotel stay become part of my Thursday night plan?’ she muttered, as she dragged her overnight case towards the marbled lobby.
According to her schedule, she and Andrew should have consumed the champagne, dined on cordon bleu food and now be making the most of clean sheets and mood lighting. Instead, she was standing before the impressive reception desk booking a two night stay which felt awkward but necessary. Esmé watched the kindly features of the pretty receptionist prepare her plastic room key.
How many young women with red raw eyes and a hurriedly packed case had the uniformed blonde checked in this evening?
Having refused a morning paper, an early morning call and a continental breakfast in bed, Esmé handed over a suitable credit card and haphazardly scrawled her signature.
She stood in silence, appreciative of the receptionist’s swift and precise booking routine, plus the speed with which she relayed the serving times for breakfast and ironically, bade her a cheerful ‘good night’.
Room 325 was unlike the room Esmé had planned to sleep in tonight. Kicking off her shoes, she flopped onto the double bed, ruining the arrangement of decorative satin pillows.
A large abstract painting hung above the bed. An image of orange and blue swirls forming huge arcs of colour upon a square canvas.
‘That’s what my brain feels like,’ muttered Esmé, twisting her head from left to right to make sense of the image.
Her argument with Andrew replayed in her head, word for word.
‘How could you, after all we’ve gone through together?’
Silence. His dark eyes had darted around the room avoiding her direct gaze.
‘I trusted you. I gave you everything and you repay me like this!’ Esmé had flung her arms around emphasising the ‘everything’ element, making sure he was following her rant.
Silence. He’d loosened his tie, then stood dishevelled after a long day at work. Esmé could make out the tiny shaving nick on his chin that must have occurred after she’d left for work this morning. In her mind’s eye, she could see him grabbing toilet tissue and applying a torn corner. He’d have been agitated, sworn and eaten his breakfast whilst bare chested, hoping the tiny cut would dry and scab before chancing his white shirt collar near it. She knew him that well. Or did she?
‘Who is she?’
About the book
A task a day to cure a broken heart.
Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:
Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.
Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!
Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.
About the author
Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. She writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and copious amounts of tea. Erin was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017 and previously, Love Stories ‘New Talent Award’ in 2015. For more about Erin, visit her website www.ErinGreenAuthor.co.uk or follow on Twitter @ErinGreenAuthor.