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A prologue to Just Two Weeks my psychological thriller

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The party is in a tiny flat on the first floor. Everyone is shouting above the music and the room vibrates with sound. Jo’s hands clap above her head and she turns her hips in time to the beat as she dances barefoot. She knows Rob is watchiher and she twists round to catch his eye. He is leaning against the wall while he puffs on a joint. When he leaves the room she feels a rush of disappointment.

More people are pushing their way in. They are even drunker than the people already there, are carrying plastic bags full of drink and shouting. Someone treads on Jo’s toes. On the other side of the room, a fight has broken out and Jo makes her way to the hallway to avoid it. There, people are leaning against the walls, lounging on the stairs, chatting to each other, smoking and laughing. She walks past them to the galley kitchen. Bottles litter every surface and the kitchen floor is drenched with wine and crushed crisps. She sees Rob holding a wine bottle up to the light, inspecting the contents. A couple are arguing in the corner, but apart from Rob there’s no-one else in the room. He finds some red wine in one of the bottles and fills Jo’s glass. The man, worn out by the argument, storms out.

‘Got a smoke?’ the woman says.

Jo puts her mouth to the stream of water from the tap and sucks down cold water.

‘This is Jo,’ Rob says. ‘We work at the same place.’

The woman lifts her head, puffs smoke towards the ceiling. ‘Pleased to meet you.’

Jo swallows some wine and looks at Rob, wondering. He tops up her glass. This is supposed to be one of their ‘relationship resting’ periods and she feels lost for words; her head begins to spin. She feels sick. Too much wine. No food.

‘Can we open the window? I need some air.’

‘Help yourself,’ the woman says.

Rob comes to the rescue and heaves the sash window open. Cool fragrant summer air wafts in from the orange blossom outside. he houses in the terrace are packed close together and she notices a light from the neighbouring house go out.

‘Hey. Be careful.’ Rob’s voice.

From here she can see the city spread out in the distance: lines and lines of twinkling house lights climbing up the mountains far away until they vanish into a pinprick. A half-moon pops out from behind a cloud. Someone turns the music up. Raucous laughter comes from the room where she’d been dancing. She decides she’s had enough of parties. This will be her last. She is thirsty. She finishes the wine in her glass, holds it out to Rob. ‘Can you get me some water?’

He fills it up from the tap and hands it to her. ‘Hang on, think I’ll join you out there. Just get my fags…’

Jo scans the kitchen and sees peanuts scattered on the floor, the cupboard doors hanging off their hinges. The woman in the black dress leaves the kitchen and Jo feels at ease sitting out there away from the action. From the party room comes the sound of Rap. A breeze fans her face and she sighs deeply, wanting this moment to go on forever while on the street below a motorbike roars past and from somewhere in the city a siren screeches. She hears a meow. A kitten is on the neighbour’s ledge and Jo makes a half turn towards it then looks back towards the kitchen where Rob is coming through the doorway. Behind her the kitten is meowing louder and Jo shuffles along the ledge. The kitten continues to meow frantically: it is tabby with white paws and has moved towards her. Hand outstretched, she leans towards it, loses her hold on the plastic glass which bounces on the patio below. She feels herself slip and grabs the blind cord. It is the only thing there to hang on to.

‘Jo……….’ Rob’s voice, screaming.

She feels herself go. The wind rushes past her. The smell of orange blossom floods her brain. In silence she falls and feels her body land on the patio below, feels the pain sear through her.

Then nothing.

Read on to find out what happens to Jo!

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“What about me?” says Jolene’s mother.

colorful_peace_bugHiya, I’m Georgina, Jolene’s mother in Just Two Weeks. She doesn’t give me a name in Just Two Weeks, so I thought I’d tell you it. This is a picture of the car me and my soul mate Milo went to Amsterdam in when we got married in 1968. He was a lovely guy and it was a great little car – shame it broke down in Amsterdam. We had to sell it as scrap metal and then go overland to India on buses. It was so different in those days. There wasn’t the danger then. Afghanistan was no problem. It was a passing point to India. Milo and I were married for thirteen years and it’s not entirely true what Jolene said about  his passing. He wasn’t a heroin addict and he didn’t die from an overdose. I was told he died from a heart attack. He died in Bombay, or Mumbai as they call it now. And yes I remember him giving Jolene that silver carving just before he died. I never realised what happened to it until I read Just Two Weeks. It was a  very  hard time  for me after Milo died. I think I went a bit berserk. I can’t remember what happened that well, but there I was with a three year old daughter, Jolene and I was completely lost. I have to admit we did stay in some dumps like she said in Just Two Weeks, but I had very little money then so I didn’t have much choice. But it wasn’t as bad as Jolene makes out and I wasn’t permanently on the look out for a man, though there were one or two, I’m sure. It was too bad for Jolene –  I know she had a bad start, but I always loved her.  Like she says, I had a bad start in life too.  Don’t tell Jolene this – she’ll only get uppity, but I reckon  I was worse off than she ever was. My dad was in the theatre. He died of pneumonia when I was two and my mother didn’t really care for me or my sister plus we were always broke. My sister’s name is Sally. I’m not going to waste precious time telling you about Sally, but I will say she lives in London and is married to a politician. I’ll leave it at that. Except to say he is not in a party I would vote for and I’m a committed socialist and proud of it.  I never see her. Neither does Jolene.  One more thing Baz never hit me.  Despite what Jolene says in Just Two Weeks. He was a bit of a rogue, but I know how to look after myself and I got out before  any harm could be done.  And even though Baz only met Jolene once, he thought she was highly intelligent and an asset to me. At least that’s what he told me.  And I will say one final things. I know Jolene  thinks I think of no one but myself, but she’s wrong. I think Jolene is a really clever girl, got ,my looks too. But I was never keen on Mark.  I preferred…well you’ll have to read Just Two Weeks to find out who I’m talking about. Ta ta for now. I’ll blow a couple of kisses.

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So who is Jolene Carr?

 

JUST TWO WEEKS v7 FINAL FINAL Cover front onlyWell she is the main protagonist in Just Two Weeks.  She is the woman with the driving force behind the novel. And this is a little bit about her.

At 36 Jo has had an interesting life with many ups and downs. Her mother is an ex-  hippie who dragged Jolene round Asia when she was a child. They slept in hostels and cheap guest houses while Jo’s mother searched for her perfect man.  Unfortunately Jo only has a vague memory of her father who died of a heroin overdose when she was three.  Jolene didn’t get off to a good start.

When she ran away from home at 17, she sank  to the bottom of the pile. She was homeless for a couple of years, squatting in a disused hospital and got in with a ‘bad crowd’. But after three  years of this she decided, not wanting to end up like her mother, she was sick of this life and got into university to study for a degree in Social Anthropology. She worked  hard and got a first. But Jo has always tended to play to hard too. Until she met Mark she drank and took cocaine when she could . And slept around. Like her mother she was looking for the perfect man. Like her mother she was never given the chance to get to know her father. In many ways, Jo is unsure of herself. She has two main girl friends, Lisa and Amy and she is fiercely  loyal to them all. She confides in them though never confides in her mother who she feels never listens. Throughout her life she is haunted by the  loss of her father. And Raquel, the enemy in Just Two Weeks preys on this emotion.

Jo has long dark hair which she often  puts up. She loves jewellery and doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. As a rule she lives in jeans and dresses as casually as the situation will allow. She doesn’t like her nose which she thinks is too big and used to dye her hair bright pink. But these days she doesn’t colour it at all. Lucky for her she doesn’t have one grey streak.

I am very fond of Jo. Even though we are very different, I have a lot of time for her. She has no mean qualities at all. Perhaps the only downside to our friendship is her unreliability, her forgetfulness. Once she had her phone switched off for such a long time I was really worried about her. Turned out she’d misplaced it when it slid onto the floor under the passenger seat in her car. And she has a tendency to make stupid decisions which often backfire. But she’s really a lovely person.

Jo has a soft side to her character. Probably because of her past she is sympathetic to people down on their luck. She’s an easy target for hawkers and enjoyed her work as a Housing Officer in the local authority where she worked with people who were at risk of becoming homeless. She is pretty, laughs a lot  and falls in love easily, quite often with the wrong man,  but really there is only one man for her. You will have to read Just Two Weeks to find out who this is! And it isn’t Mark.

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Behind the scenes of Just Two Weeks

 

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I said my next post would be about the inspiration for my novel Just Two Weeks. Well true to my word here it is. I will start off by saying it was a visit to Sri Lanka which inspired me.  Raven Reviews offered me a guest post about the inspiration for my book. They posted it on their blog and included  some excellent photos which really depict my words well. You can read it here.

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Here’s another wonderful review of ‘Just Two Weeks’.

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One of the best psychological  thrillers she’s read, the reviewer said. Praise indeed! Read it here.

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Interview With Author Amanda Sington-Williams (Just Two Weeks, Psychological Thriller)

Interview about my new psychological thriller Just Two Weeks

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Interview with Sarah Gorrell on Radio Sussex

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On 17h October the day after my book launch I had an interview with Sarah Gorrell on Radio Sussex/Surrey Drivetime about my novel ‘Just Two Weeks’. It’s been a month but I’ve only just found out how to put the interview on Sound Cloud! Sarah Gorrell is a great interviewer and she really put me at my ease. Click on Drivetime  to hear the interview!

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