Unfortunately, I was a little too ambitious when I decided to publish THREE full length novels in SIX months. It’s all Scarlett’s fault – she’s got so much to say, that we need another two months to hear the bitch out. So… DERAILED will be released on 30 July 2015.
Sorry for the delay, but I assure you, you’re gonna love reading more about Scarlett, Ritchie, Rival and Bradley. (Bradley features a lot more in DERAILED.)
Like the cover?
Here is an excerpt from Scarlett (just don’t call her Annie), Bradley and Scarlett’s sisters.
Excerpt from DERAILED:
“You have to attend with me, Bradley,” I nag for the fifth time.
Bradley snarls, “I don’t want to see your family, okay? Them or anyone for that matter, okay? Now leave me alone for fuck’s sake.”
“But it’s my parent’s anniver—”
“I don’t give a shit, Annie.”
“— versary, Bradley.”
“I don’t give a shit, Annie.”
“STOP CALLING ME THAT!”
“Annie, Annie, ANNIE!” His grin is smug as he taunts me.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four …
“My daddy has done a lot for us, Bradley. Look how he expedited your career using his connections and his firm’s –”
Bradley throws out his arms. “I didn’t ask him to. Did I ask for his help? Huh? Did I?”
“We should be grateful, Bradley.”
“Grateful? Grateful, my arse!” he says, stabbing the air with his index finger. “He can go fuck himself. He wants me to become prime minister so he can boast to all the wanker friends. Show off. Exploit my position. Gain from it. Think I don’t know that? Huh? Think I don’t know he’s using me, Annie? Nothing you father does is out of the goodness of his heart. He’s a calculating, shrewd prick, so he and your family, all of them, they can go fuck them –”
“Well, just remember we need money right now. Guess who’s going to have to loan us –”
“I don’t give a fuck, Annie,” he says walking backwards. “Go without me.” With a dismissive wave of his hand, he walks over to the liquor cabinet and pours himself a whisky. (Once again, my husband doesn’t offer me a drink.)
I shake with fury. How dare he do this to me? I have been attending so many social functions on my own, it’s a wonder people are not talking. Or are they? I doubt it. But still, how dare Bradley behave this way? It’s irresponsible and spells, no screams marital discord. Doesn’t he realize how high the stakes how? How much we have to lose?
I storm up to my bedroom and slam the door shut. I dread the thought of attending this party without him. Especially since the party is being hosted by Cassie and Bevan in their new house. (New house, my arse! Bet this hovel has a second hole in the ground they’ve cordoned off and now call a second bathroom. Or a third bedroom, even. After all, my brother-in-law is a mere accountant. It’s not like he’s an attorney with political aspirations or something.)
As the minutes tick by, I search my brain for creative excuses I can use to worm out of tonight’s shindig. Holly’s got a rash. Might be measles – we’re not sure. But we wouldn’t want to spread it if it is. (Used that one already. Damn!)
Bradley’s got an urgent meeting that he simply can’t get out of. And yes, it’s on a Saturday night. You know the saying: “Ask not what your country can do for you…” (Used that one already. Fuck!)
Bradley’s looney ex, she’s on the warpath again. We’re really afraid she might show up at the house when we leave and wreak havoc. She’s done it before, remember? (Used that one twice already. Fuuuuck!)
I have been throwing up all day. Not sure if I’m coming down with something. (I have not used that one already, and I don’t want to. Here’s why: I expect them to speculate about a pregnancy and that’s all good and well. However, when they find out I am not pregnant, they may think I have fertility issues. Eliciting that kind of sympathy from people is not acceptable to me.)
Bradley’s ex, that crazy bitch has taken the kids and run off again. We don’t want to bring in cops, not just yet at least, so we’re waiting for her to show up. (Used that one twice already. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!)
As creative as I am, I know I can’t escape tonight’s dinner. Because of Bradley’s intolerable behavior, I’ve used all my get out of jail cards.
Besides it’s my parent’s anniversary. My dad won’t forgive me for not turning up.
With my bottom lip dragging, I slip on a white, Roberto Cavalli cocktail long-sleeve gown. It costs enough to buy a small car, sure, but the fit is incredible and the best part is the fur trimming. Real fur, I might add. (If you’re one of those I’d rather go naked than wear fur tree-huggers and you plan to give me a hard time about wearing fur; here’s my response: just two simple words; fuck off!)
I add a pair of white Givenchy ankle boots and a white and gold crocodile-skin purse. A gold serpent choker snakes down my cleavage and lends the perfect finishing touch. When I look in the mirror I see perfection personified. My mood elevates and my fizz returns.
The serpent choker will no doubt be a conversation piece at tonight’s dinner. God knows with my simpleton sisters, we’re going to need all the conversation pieces we can possibly find.
I climb into my Porsche, punch the address of Cassie and Bevan’s new house into my GPS and drive to their pokey little dump.
After driving for about thirty five minutes, the annoying voice of my GPS says, “Destination in fifty meters.”
I slow to a cruise and peer at the row of houses. Something is very wrong. The address yields a modern, split-level, near-mansion home with a triple garage and a landscaped garden with large wrought-iron gates.
My GPS may have led me to the wrong street after all. With a sigh of exasperation, I open up Google maps. As I look at the screen of my iPhone, a surge of fear shoots through me. Not only does it appear to be the correct house, but God forbid …Bevan and Cassie’s house is as splendid as …mine. What. The. Fuck?
I’m either being Punked or Cassie’s trying to compete with me. Since there are no cameras around, I conclude that my sister is in fact, trying to outshine me. How dare she? Nobody competes with me. I am a trendsetter – everyone copies me, I get that (even though I’m not altogether happy with it, but in the spirit of imitation being the sincerest form of …yadda! Yadda! Yadda! I accept it); but competing with me? They’ve got to be delusional to think they can. Totally. Obviously Cassie’s ignored the memo.
Irritated, I nudge my Porsche up to their gates. To my utter surprise, the wrought iron gates swing open! Video cameras? God I hate show-offs.
As I cruise up their long paved driveway, I come across a silver convertible Mercedes SLK. What a fabulous car. Did my daddy buy a new ride and fail to tell me about it? But as I peer at the registration plate, my heart slams against my double DDs, my mouth feels like I’ve eaten chalk and the serpent choker threatens to choke me. The registration plate reads, D1NA. Horrified, I slam back in my seat. So Dina wants to fuck with me too? She must be if she’s flaunting such a magnificent vehicle in my face. What the hell are these bitches thinking? And where the fuck are they getting money from to do battle with me?
Feeling like I have just sucked on a slice of lemon without the prize of a shot of tequila, I get out of my Porsche, grab the professionally wrapped gift and stride up the house.
Yeah, I’m late, fashionably late, at that because …well, I’m just late – deal with it. (My motto: better to be late than arrive early looking less than perfect. Like Rival.)
Without bothering to knock or ring the doorbell, I open the front door, which is unlocked and gasp at the sight that greets me. The entrance hall is just magnificent – white marble floors, marble pillars and an oversized, Richelieu gilded wall mirror, all drenched with shimmering light from a smoky pendant chandelier with bent arms.
Feeling like I’m in a nightmare, I walk on into a sunken lounge with luxurious cream carpets, flowing floor-to-ceiling white drapes (white, I tell you) and an off-white leather Italian lounge suite that only an interior decorator could have chosen. The modern mirrored prints, the tasteful art deco pieces, the classy clustering of assorted cushions …Cassie and Bevan are strictly Clearance or Stock-take Sale shoppers, who when it comes to taste, have zilch. Ergo, the bogans (hillbillies) had to have had help to achieve this homochromatic collaboration of hues, textures and aesthetics.
With my blood simmering and wishing I had mud on my shoes, I force myself forward and toward the sound of laughter. As I walk, my blood starts to boil at the cluster of wall photographs of Cassie and Bevan, looking into each other’s eyes and smiling with happiness, the contemporary recessed lighting on the floor skirting, and the blue-tinted skylights. (When I look up, I see the night sky and stars! It’s like there is no roof. Grudgingly, I have to admit, I am impressed. Grudgingly. But I will be sure to pinch this idea.)
When I enter the dining room, where my kin is already seated, conversation halts abruptly.
“Oh look it’s Orphan Annie,” Bevan finally says. “We didn’t hear the doorboll. Eh, doorbell!”
The fucker draws first blood. Okay.
I kiss my mother and father, present them with a Baccarat crystal decanter set, pull out my phone and take a picture of the three of us. Then I take my seat, place my hands on the table and bestow a first lady smile on my underlings. “How is everyone tonight?” I ask in a regal voice as I accept the glass of Merlot from my daddy.
“We all are just fine, and thank you for asking,” a flush-faced Cassie says. “And where is the politician tonight?” She cranes her neck to look behind me. “Another no-show? Mm?”
“Our future prime minister …is a tad fluish today,” I say as I raise my glass to my nutmeg colored lips. “So I’ve tucked him in bed with some chicken soup, a hot water bottle, a cuddle and a ton of kisses.”
“Again?” Bevan says, a confused look on his rubicund face. “I thought you used that card already?”
Did I? For a moment I feel a fleeting panic at the thought of having used that excuse before. However, as a first lady, I have to be prepared for unanticipated moments like this. So, ignoring my simpleton brother-in-law, I continue in a somewhat regal voice. “We’ve spent all day trudging from one open house to another in search of that elusive waterfront property that we so desire, and –”
“Waterfront property?” Bevan says, before he jerks to look at Dina’s husband. Get a load of that?
“—our future prime minister, he’s just exhausted.” I look at Bevan the Yobbo (trailer trash). “Yes, waterfront property. We’ve been tossing between a few for a while now and …I daresay, house-hunting can be rather time consuming.” I chuckle before I take a sip of my wine. “Draining even.”
“What’s your budget?” Bevan asks.
“About five,” I say in a casual voice. “Maybe six if it’s really nice.” My shoulders lift and drop.
“Five million!” Cassie blurts. “You serious?”
“My husband sends his best though,” I continue, ignoring her outburst and flashing them all my recently professionally whitened teeth.
That’ll teach them. Hopefully they will get the message that they aren’t in any way in the same league as us Murdochs.
“Really, huh?” Bevan says, his chest to the table, his eyes glazed from the buy-in-bulk-and-save-heaps range of booze.
“Yes, really,” I deadpan.
“So…he’s not coming for sure?”
“No, my husband isn’t –”
“In that case, everybody let go of your wallets,” Bevan says, throwing his hands in the air.
The house shakes with laughter.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” It’s a struggle not to grab a steak knife from the table and stab him in the trachea –perform a tracheotomy on him for …fun.
“Nothing,” Shiraz quaffing Cassie says, wiping tears of mirth from her eyes. “It was a joke in poor taste, honey.”
“Yes, it is,” my mother reprimands, even though laughter lines fan her eyes.
“Sorry, Mum, we will refrain from making any more burglary jokes,” Bevan says.
My mother nods. “Thank you.”
“And no grand theft auto jokes,” Needledick Bevan says.
“And no insurance fraud jokes,” my sister Dina chips in, before she raises her fork to her mouth. Obviously, she hasn’t forgiven me for stealing her thunder the day I announced my wedding. I know that for a fact – she failed to invite me to her ugly baby’s christening ceremony. (Her baby Moses, looks like the father from Family Guy. Seriously.)
“Congratulations, Dina,” I say in a voice like manuka honey.
She squints at me. What?
“You look great. All glowing and vibrant. I hope it’s a girl this time.”
That wipes the smile off her face. She sucks in stomach and quickly lowers her fork, “I’m not pregnant!”
My eyes fall to her stomach. “Sorry, my mistake,” I say, both hands on my chest. “I thought you’re pregnant.”
“And absolutely no prison jokes,” her husband Dan snarls, his eyes bulging with sudden fury.
I sniff at my glass of red. “Smells like …like Sandalwood and…” I make a face. “Bought it from Aldi Discount Supermarket, did you?”
Dan puts his arm around Dina and says, “You don’t look pregnant, babe. She’s talking shit!”
“No burglary, no grand theft auto jokes, no nothing,” Bevan says. “You heard your mum.” He puts a finger on Cassie’s lips. She playfully chomps on it, then giggles like a schoolgirl. A fat one.
Doing my best to ignore Dan’s angry looks, I mellow with Merlot.
“Nice snake,” Dan says, his chin jerking toward my serpent choker.
My hand moves to touch the choker.
“It’s so …you,” Dina says, obviously having recovered from my insult.
Bevan slaps the table with his palm again. “That’s what I thought when I saw it. It’s so …Scarlett.” He fashions his fingers into the shape of a snake’s head and makes darting movements at me. “Sssssscarlett!”
Clearly, the Merlot isn’t doing its job, because I’m anything but mellow – these arseholes are really pissing me off. “Bevan,” I say in a voice cold with control, “why don’t you go fuck yourself?”
My mother gasps. “Scarlett!”
“Maybe I will, soon-to-be Mrs. P.M.,” he says in a scoffing voice. “Or shall I call you Mrs. P.M.S? Is it that time of the month, sister-in-law dear?”
“FYI and for posterity, Bradley never did those criminal things,” I say in a measured voice. “He was framed. Thankfully, the courts realized that and cleared him off all charges.”
“Of course, Bevan says. “I absolutely, unequivocally, unambiguously and categorically believe you, and …I believe that he is guilty until proven innocent!” He shakes his finger as he speaks.
“You mean innocent until proven guilty?” Cassie asks, lovingly caressing the back of his stubby neck.
Bevan shakes his head from side to side, eliciting another explosion of laughter.
“You guys stop it,” my mother reprimands.
“He has been proven innocent by people who matter,” I remind Bevan, struggling not to lose my shit. “Cleared off all charges.”
“There you go!” Bevan says in a voice that can be described as condescending. Or sarcastic. Or mocking. Or waspish.
For a few moments there is silence in the room. I breathe a sigh of relief. After all sparring can be rather exhausting.
“Hey, can you get me an iPhone dock?” Bevan asks, bringing out his wallet and handing me a five dollar note. “I like Bose.”
That’s it. I’ve had enough of these fuckers. I stand up, push away from chair and bring out my Uzi. “I hate it when people hold grudges.”
“And we hate shonky people,” Cassie evens. “Shonky attorneys, shonky politicians…”
“Your husband is shonky,” I reply in a calm voice, wriggling my pinkie in her face. “I know from first-hand experience when he put his hand down my panties.”
“WHAT?” Dina screeches. Her head jerks to look at Cassie.
Cassie’s eyes become pools of blue fury.
“And …his tongue in my mouth. A day before your wedding.”
“What the hell?” my father says. “Cassie? What is she talking –?”
“Tell everyone why you cried so much during your wedding, my dear sister. Go on. Tell them how you found out that the man you were about to marry raped your –”
Cassie flings her glass of red wine at me, ruining my white dress, splashing my white boots, and dousing my lovely serpent choker, destroying my expensive ensemble in one vengeful second.
A collective gasp fills the room.
“Oh, Cassie, look what you did –you’ve killed the snake,” Dina’s husband mocks.
Everyone starts to laugh, except me. I am so furious at my sister, I want to lunge at her, drag her across the table and beat the shit out of her. But I don’t. I have a better idea. I grab an opened bottle of Shiraz and empty it all over Cassie and the table, splashing everyone around, causing them to scatter like leaves on a windy day.
“Annie, stop!” my mother cries.
Undaunted, I grab another bottle of opened red wine and empty it all over their cream upholstered dining chairs and their cream plush carpet. Thrilling at the destruction a bottle of red can cause, I turn around and sprinkle the red wine all over their lovely cream drapes and blinds – just shake the bottle at it.
If my father hadn’t grabbed the bottle out of me, I would have tripled the damage.
“You’re just a frustrated bitch because word around town is that your husband is going to leave you and return to his ex-WIFE!” Cassie yells from across the table.
Now that is below the belt. She shouldn’t have said that. Below the FUCKING belt!
In spite of my white hot rage, I manage a smile. A mirthless one, of course. “Your intelligence is …fucked up. Totally. His wife is disabled.” I spin my finger next to my temple. “Bradley’s just helping her along so that she won’t slit her wrists, or throw herself off a building, or gas herself and our two children. Sorry to disappoint you, but Bradley and me, we’re tight. Happily married, you fat shit. Deal with it.”
My father grabs Cassie’s arm. “What the hell is Scarlett talking about? What rape?”
“Yes, Cass, what’s going on?” Dina says, her eyes darting between Cassie’s face and Bevan’s.
“Bevan?” my father says. “Care to explain?”
Before he can answer, Cassie bursts into tears. Bevan lunges to hug her.
Dina shoots me a look of utter contempt as she too moves to comfort Cassie. “Happy now?” she demands through clenched teeth.
There’s no need for me to answer. My job is done, excellently at that. Humming to myself, I turn and skip out of the lovely new home.
“Bevan!” I hear my father billow. “I demand an answer, you arsehole!”
“Hey, don’t you talk to me like that!” Bevan shouts. “You’re in my house.”
“I don’t give a fuck. Did you try to rape my daughter?”
Yep, as I said, my job here is done.
On my way out, I run my car keys across Dina’s Mercedes, before I get into my Porsche and retrieve a brass letter opener I keep for emergencies. It isn’t easy for a woman to slash a car tyre, let me tell you. You have to have strength, which luckily my adrenalin blesses me with right now. Four tyres needs a tremendous amount of energy. Plus the loud hiss that follows each of the slashings can really freak you out – like something next to you is about to explode.
I hurry back into my Porsche and speed off. Cassie should have got over her fury at me fucking her husband by now. Especially considering that she and Bevan renewed their vows earlier this year and did not invite me to their sham wedding.
As the adrenalin wears off, and even though I take comfort in that fact that I have caused friction between them, I am a bit disturbed. Of all the things Cassie said, what upset me the most was her comment about Rival and Bradley. People are starting to notice, to talk.
Rival that slut, that bitch, that …uuurrrggghhh! I’d like to fucking slit her throat and put an end to all rumors. I have to do something. This situation can’t go on. I step on my accelerator. Have to do something soon.
The moment I get home, I log onto Bradley’s Facebook account and go into damage control.
Bradley Murdoch: I love #WaterfrontProperties, but it’s such a schlep viewing house after house on a Saturday. I’m beat. Wish I had a clone. Lol. But my babe wants what my babe wants, so I guess I’m gonna go walkabout whether I like it or not. (Smiley face with hearts in the eyes.) #ILoveScarlettMurdoch.
Scarlett Murdoch: (Smiley face with red hearts for eyes) Don’t you worry, oh #FuturePrimeMinister, when I get home from the party, I shall make it up to you in more ways than one. (Smiley face with a lewd wink) #ILoveBradleyMurdoch.
Bradley Murdoch: Promises, promises!
Scarlett Murdoch: Count on it loverboy. (Smiley face with tongue sticking out)
Bradley Murdoch: I’m counting, I’m counting! Lol! (Smiley face with a wink)
Bradley Murdoch: To Mum and Dad, the most wonderful in-laws in the world, happy anniversary. Sorry I had to miss tonight. Hope you like the gift I sent. #HouseHuntingSucks.
Scarlett Murdoch and fifty three other like this!
Only fifty-three? How humiliating.
End of Excerpt.
See, told ya you’re gonna love Scarlett. She’s is superbad this time around.
I will be sharing more from her and her book on my blog from now till July, so make sure you’re following it. Https://everabi.wordpress.com