K.T. Findlay makes a welcome return today, sharing an extract of his novel, An Implacable Woman. Many thanks to K.T. for allowing me to share this, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.
If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die
Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…
But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.
With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?
As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.
In this extract, Sally is talking to a new friend, little girl Connie, who Sally thinks has fabulous potential as an artist. Unfortunately, Connie has the most ghastly mother who can’t see the good in any of her three children, but especially not in Connie. Sally decides to give the three children a tool they can fight back with…
Roger’s eyebrows shot into his hairline. ‘Mummy tells lies?’
Sally shook her head. ‘Not lies exactly, it’s just that she’s not always right. Watch out now.’
Mrs Taylor pushed aside the last branch, saw her children clustered around Sally, and walked over. She bent over to look at the painting. ‘That’s better than the one you were doing before.’ she said begrudgingly. ‘You might even be able to sell that one.’
‘Then I’ll put it in my next exhibition.’ smiled Sally.
‘Exhibition? Who are you then?’ demanded Mrs Taylor.
‘Sally Mellors, professional artist.’
Mrs Taylor blinked. ‘There’s one of yours in the town library!’
Sally nodded. ‘That would be Harriston then? The autumn leaves on the town street? An oil painting? I bought my new kitchen with that one!’
Mrs Taylor blinked again. ‘You really are her!’ Then she looked back at the painting. ‘I don’t think you’ll get a new kitchen with that one, but you might get a week’s groceries.’
Roger pulled his mum’s blouse. ‘But mum, it isn’t hers!’
‘Don’t be silly Roger, of course it’s hers!’ Mrs Taylor snapped, slapping his hand away.
Sally laughed. ‘No, he’s right. Connie painted it. Isn’t it fabulous?’
Mrs Taylor’s face clouded instantly. ‘Connie’s? I don’t believe it!’ She bent down to look at it more closely, then shot back up with a snort. ‘Humph. You painted it, and she signed it. That’s not a nice thing to do to a child, teaching her to lie!’
Sally’s smile vanished. ‘Connie painted the whole thing, in just five minutes too. And it really is as good as you think it is, and it will go in my next exhibition, under her own name.’
Mrs Taylor glared at her. ‘I will not be lied to! We’re leaving. Children, get yourselves cleaned up!’ Then she stalked off to the car where her husband was busy pulling out the lunch things. ‘You can pack that lot back up right now! We’re not staying here tonight!’
Connie looked despairingly at Sally. ‘What’s going to happen?’
Sally rested her hand gently on the girl’s shoulder. ‘I will keep this safe. It will go in the exhibition, under your name, not mine, but it won’t be for sale. I’ll keep it myself, until you’re grown up enough to be able to come to see me. Then you can have it back, and if you want to, I’ll teach you how to be an artist.’
‘Really?’ whispered Connie. ‘Do you really mean that?’
‘Yes, I promise. I really mean it Connie Taylor. Now children, your mother just showed you that while she might think she knows everything, sometimes she’s dead wrong, and it can hurt you. Do you want her to show you again?’
The three children nodded, wide eyed.
‘Okay,’ whispered Sally, ‘your mum told you to get cleaned up, and you already are, right? So you’re waiting for mum and dad to get finish packing before you get in the car? I say again, you’re the ones waiting for her, right?’
Three more nods.
‘Well I bet you each a fish and chip supper, that when she’s finished packing, she’ll call you over and tell you that you’ve made everyone late for lunch.’
The three children looked over at the car where dad was putting the very last bucket into the boot. Mrs Taylor called over to them. ‘Come along children, you’re making us late for lunch!’
Roger’s jaw dropped. ‘How did you know?’
Sally gave him a wink. ‘Remember I asked you to pay attention to everything from now on, and watch what your mother says and does? That’s why. You never made anyone late for lunch, and Connie painted that beautiful painting. Your mum isn’t always right. If you know when she’s wrong, you can take better care of each other. Now, off you go, and God bless. And Connie? I’ll always be here for you when you’re ready! Just remember my name, Sally Mellors.’
Emma rested her chin on Sally’s shoulder as the car drove away up the hill. ‘You’re going to go to hell for that. You do know that don’t you?’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.
Don’t forget to make a visit to the other blog taking part in the tour.