It’s my pleasure to share an extract from Jennie Ensor’s re-launched novel, Not Having It All. Before I do, here’s what the book is about.
Bea Hudson juggles her science research job with looking after her demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless au pair. When her chief exec husband Kurt is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea turns to best friend Maddie for help.
Kurt, convinced that Bea is having an affair with Maddie, enlists his neighbour’s help in a secret surveillance operation.
Maddie longs for a child of her own with a man she can trust – and he must love cats.
Colin, a risk-averse manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’, meets Maddie in a lift. He’s smitten, and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as ‘a handy stud with a fat wallet’…
Amid the resulting chaos of deception and misunderstandings, can Bea and Kurt find happiness again? And can Maddie and Colin risk falling in love?
Book links ~ Amazon | Amazon US | Bookshop.org
I dont know how to write all the things in my head. Here is for practise with English. I must try to look up all tricky words. Words dont come easy, they are like slippery plates in my hand.
Today when I pick up Fran from preschool she has thing in her bag like lots of egg boxes stuck together, the head with black teeth and big green horns popping out of the sides. I laugh, is so funny. She say it means to be scary, is called Diner Saw.
On way home she says her big toe rubs into shoe, so we stop at bench.
Why are you naughty to Mummy this morning, I say. Mummy says you do not want to go with her.
Fran sucks sweet very loud, swings legs very fast.
What, I do not hear you.
Sucking and swinging stop.
Mummy says I am bad girl. Do you think I am bad girl, Katie?
You can be very good girl if you like to be. Also very bad girl.
Is Daddy coming back, Katie?
Fran looks at me with pretty little nose like Mrs H’s and big brown eyes like Big Ears when he wants pig’s ear.
Yes darling, he comes back very soon.
She looks at me like it is Big Lie.
It is true, I say. Come on Little Miss, we go home now, Big Ears is missing you.
Fran takes my hand and skips and sings her new song again.
Katie kiss me, kiss me Katie!
Today when I pick up Fran she has face like sunk cake Mrs H makes once (after this Katie makes all cakes in Hudson Household).
What is matter, I say.
Nothing, she says.
What do you do this morning?
Nothing all morning?
She says one of girls on her table says that Fran’s Daddy does not come back ever, like her Daddy who leaves her Mummy for Mummy 2. Also Fran’s Mummy does not care about her because she is at work every day.
It is not true, I say, it is only what nasty little girl says. You must forget, is heap of crap.
Heap of crap, heap of crap, heap of crap!
After lunch I say we must take dog for walk, I do not have time this morning, too much washing ironing folding shopping.
I am tired Katie, can I stay here?
You cant stay here on your own.
Yes I can!
Dont be silly Fran, you are not big girl yet, please dont be naughty girl!
Fran runs up to room and slams door. Big Ears runs into kitchen, lead in mouth and drops at my feet. He is moving tail so fast I think it will come off and big spitty blob coming out of mouth.
I go to Fran’s room. Please, I say, come with me.
She is on floor with beach box, lid open, talking to stones.
Leave that, you come back to box later.
She keeps talking to stones.
Come on Fran, dont be naughty girl, Big Ears wants to go for walk.
I want to play with my beach box.
OK, we take beach box with us.
Very big mistake. We are walking on doggie path for ten minutes and she throws stone at dog coming other way.
What are you doing?
I dont want all these stones, there are too many in box now.
You must not throw stones at dogs, is very bad.
I do not see next thing, she is behind me and Big Ears is long way in front, gone to scruffy dog like him and is sniffing his arse. No, it is a she, I see, he is getting it on with she dog. No owner I can see. Then I hear someone goes Aaaaaarr! I turn back, see man on path flat on arse and bicycle on top.
Fran comes out from a bush with hand on mouth. I run over.
Did you throw stone at the man? Tell me you do not throw stone at him.
Then man is up on feet shaking fist at Fran, shouting Look what she did, this horrid little girl, I cant walk now she hit me in knee, the little git!
He goes on like crazy man. I say I am sorry, she is very bad girl, take Fran’s hand and go see what happens to Big Ears.
Thank god he is not shagging she dog now, owner is there with angry voice, tugging his dog away from panting Big Ears. I put lead on Big Ears all way back, tell him No More Hankypanky.
At home I take beach box away from Fran for punishment, tell Fran she must stay in room and no peanut butter samwitch, and this evening I must tell her Mummy what she does. Then I go sit in TV room with Mr H’s special drink he hides in bottom of kitchen cubbud with black shoe polish and put on DVD from Mrs H’s stash of naughty French movies. Little perk for Katie, I deserve. Today I have enough of Little Miss and Big Ears.
First prize: £20 National Book Tokens gift card (if winner lives in the UK) or a $25 Amazon.com eGift Card (if outside the UK) plus a signed paperback copy of Not Having It All plus a box of Guylian Finest Belgian Chocolates with Hazelnut Praliné Filling to enhance your reading experience Runner-up prize: A signed paperback copy of NHIA plus a bar of Green & Blacks dark mint chocolate. To enter you need to be signed up to Jennie’s newsletter on her website. The names of the winner and runner up will be announced on her author Facebook page ASAP after the draw.