Welcome to CentreStage!
CentreStage features fantastic authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their writing, their lives, hobbies, adventures or sleepless nights. Or about a litle bit of madness here and there! Today, it is my enormous pleasure to welcome the lovely, quirky and quite outstanding Sheryl Browne.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Sheryl in person on several occasions, and I can tell you, there’s no one chattier, warmer, more welcoming and more entertaining. Sheryl, it’s an honour to have you here today and I’ll hand the floor over to you now… Take it away!
FOURRTH Book Launch
Thank you so much for inviting me along today and helping me launch A Little Bit of Madness, my fourth book published by Safkhet Publishing!
Rather than waffle on – as I tend to, with Nicky’s kind permission, I’ve included a blurb and brief excerpt below. I do hope you enjoy!
A Little Bit of Madness
No rest for the wicked
Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.
Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind – telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum’s house, to pay off his debts.
Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She’s even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painful – in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white-knight-in-blue and ride to her rescue?
A Little Bit of a Mad Excerpt….
‘I wasn’t talking about the Porsche owner.’ Celia glanced at the driver, who, competing with an idling bus in the next lane, revved his engine even louder. ‘I was talking about PC Plod. What’s he doing?’
‘His duty, I believe,’ Eleanor informed her. ‘He’s just told Annie White he’ll have to charge her with causing an obstruction.’
‘Jobs-worth,’ Celia huffed. He could look as exasperated as he liked, she wasn’t about to sympathise with someone who’d sided with the enemy.
‘Whoops-a-daisy. Now he’s looking a bit put out. The colonel has just told him he’s not orf duty either and plonked himself down,’ Eleanor observed.
Uh, oh. Celia snuck a peek.
‘Da-ad.’ Alex pushed his cap back, exasperated. ‘Would you please stop this, before I’m in it up to my neck?’
‘No can do, lad. Sorry. Can’t let the chaps down. Wouldn’t be cricket.’
‘Christ, Dad, this isn’t cricket! It stopping traffic and it’s against the law.’
‘So should making people homeless be, m’boy. Can’t move, lad. Principle at stake, y’see?‘
‘And so is my bloody job! I have to move you on, Dad. Please?’
The colonel notched his chin up and stayed put.
‘Right,’ Alex sighed, running his hand over his neck and motioning to his partner. ‘Sorry, Dad,’ he said, as they heaved the colonel cross-legged from the road. ‘It’s my duty and all that.’
‘Damned outrage! Contravention of civil liberties!’ Colonel Burrows blustered.
‘No Dad, I think you’ll find preventing people from going about their business is a contravention of civil liberties.’ Alex gave Celia a disparaging glance as he “escorted” his father to a waiting police van.
Celia reciprocated and turned away, but quickly turned back as she heard Alex mutter, ‘Ouch! Shit! May, for Christ’s sake!’
‘Unhand him,’ said May, beating Alex about the head with one removed trainer, whilst someone else did banner duty. ‘Put him down, I say, sir, or I shall … ’
Celia blinked astonished as May, having failed to deter Alex from removing the colonel with her lethal weapon, resorted to the use of another. ‘Oh, God, she’s going to bite him.’
‘Gum him, you mean.’ Eleanor placed a hand over her eyes.
Celia placed one over her mouth. Don’t let him drop the colonel, she prayed as May, in the absence of teeth, pinched Alex instead.
‘Jesus.’ Alex winced. So did Celia and Eleanor. ‘That had to hurt,’ said Celia.
‘Definitely,’ said Eleanor. ‘Delicate area, that.’
‘I’ve had just about enough of this,’ Alex growled as he returned from depositing his protesting father in the police van. ‘May, that was below the belt!’ May, who’d trotted over to join Eleanor and Celia, flushed from her cheeks to her now bare feet. ‘Assaulting an officer of the law is—’
‘Against the law,’ Eleanor suggested helpfully.
Alex glared at her. ‘A criminal offence.’
‘Ooh, smouldering eyes,’ Eleanor swooned. ‘Doesn’t he look gorgeous when he’s angry?’
Alex ignored her and turned to May. ‘Patrol car, May.’ He nodded her towards his car. ‘Sit in it, and stay in it.’
‘Oh, lovely.’ May trotted off, happy as a lark. ‘I do love flashing lights,’ she said, climbing into the patrol car—then neatly out the other side.
‘God give me strength!’ Alex threw his cap on the ground, then raced after her. Winifred Bailey though, had other ideas. ‘Gotcha,’ she smiled triumphantly, sticking Alex with her knitting needle. ‘That should teach you to pick on someone your own size.’ She went back to her knitting, as Alex fell over clutching his thigh.
‘Oh my God!’ Celia made to leap up.
‘Stay,’ Eleanor instructed her. ‘He’s all right. He’s up on all fours.’
Celia looked at her, appalled. ‘Eleanor, how can you be so heartless? He might be bleeding to death. He might have tetanus.’
‘Years of practice,’ said Eleanor. ‘He’s not bleeding to death. He’s up and limping and he can get a shot for the latter.’
‘I’m sure he’ll feel much better for knowing it,’ Celia muttered, and snuck another glance at him. Oh Lord, poor Alex. ‘He is limping quite badly, Eleanor,’ she said, chewing on her lower lip.
‘Tough. He shouldn’t have entered the fray, should he? In any case, Alex and his uniformed chums started the fray, so I wouldn’t waste too much energy feeling sorry for him, if I were you.’
‘No. No, I won’t.’ Celia went back to reciting reasons why she shouldn’t feel sorry for him. He’d been horrible about Martin—again. There were a hundred reasons why she shouldn’t dash over to make sure he was all right.
Well, one anyway. He was a great strapping man. He wasn’t going to be felled by a knitting needle.
No, she wouldn’t go to him. Her loyalties lay here where she sat. Her chin jutted defiantly as she sat a bit firmer, and a bit colder.
‘Oh dear,’ Eleanor said, keeping her up to speed, ‘he’s looking embarrassed now. Annie White’s just told his partner if he’s intending to have it away with her, he’ll have to handcuff her first. Don’t look now, but I think our knight in tarnished armour is coming over to have it away with us, if you’ll excuse the expression. But of course, you’re not looking, are you?’ She noted the blush to Celia’s cheek. ‘Or talking? He’s obviously playing havoc with your emotions.’
‘I beg your … ’ Celia blushed scarlet. ‘He is not.’
‘Hmm? I beg to differ, Celia, but I think he must be.’ Eleanor sat up straighter as Alex got nearer.
‘I don’t have any feelings for Alex! Well, not those kind of feelings.’ Celia caught a glimpse of blue serge and sat up straight alongside Eleanor. ‘I just—’
‘Nor he for you by the look on his face. Miserable I’d call him, a man torn asunder by conflicting emotions. He’s in denial, of course. Could never admit, with his troubled past and you about to marry Martin, that he—’
‘Eleanor, shut up!’ Celia hissed as Alex cast a shadow over them.
Eleanor did as bid, eyeing Celia with some sort of private satisfaction. ‘Alex!’ she exclaimed, ‘how unlovely to see you. Is it our turn to be carried off by you?’
‘Must be your lucky day.’ Alex crouched in front of Celia, a smile playing about his mouth despite wounds to his body and pride. ‘Ladies, would you do you me the honour of allowing me to escort you to the pavement?’
‘Thank you, but no thank you.’ Celia growled. She folded her arms, adamant she wouldn’t be moved, emotionally or otherwise. ‘Bugger off, Alex.’
‘Your wish is my command,’ Alex sighed and stood up. ‘As soon as I’ve done my job. Celia, you either walk to the pavement or you get carried to the police van. It’s your call.’
‘Do you know something,’ she said, ignoring Alex in favour of talking to Eleanor, ‘I think he’s the limit.’ She nodded towards the guy in the Porsche who was now leaning on his horn. Probably got an ultra-important meeting to get to, she seethed quietly. Far more important to the future of the world than people who hadn’t got much of a future and would probably be better off dead anyway. ‘Right,’ she said, getting to her feet.
‘Good decision,’ Alex said, relieved.
‘I think it’s about time I showed the heckler-horn-blower my placard up close.’
‘Not.’ Alex tugged in a terse breath as Celia strode past him. ‘Jesus Christ! Celia, come back!’
About Sheryl Browne
Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy. She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.
RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award. Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint.
SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1, 2012
WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment – three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1, 2012
A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS –White Knight in Blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home – releases Valentine’s Day 2013.
LINKS: Sheryl’s Website ~ Safkhet Publishing ~ Amazon.co.uk ~ Amazon.com ~ Author Facebook ~ Romantic Novelists’ Association ~ Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor ~ Twitter: @sherylbrowne
Thank you, Sheryl, this is simply awesome. Dear reader, having read Shery’s previous books, I am totally looking forward to reading this latest masterpiece and I can guarantee you you’re in for a fabulous ride.