Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Excerpt from Paula's 'Changing the Future'.

Lisa was laughing at her friend’s account of her kayaking efforts during the Easter weekend when Millie said suddenly, “Hey, look, Fiona Hall’s found herself a new man.”
She glanced at the two figures on the path leading diagonally across the lawn towards the Charlton Building. Even from a distance, their colleague Fiona Hall was unmistakable; immaculate as always, in a tight-fitting green skirt and jacket.
As her gaze moved to the man walking with Fiona, she frowned. There was something familiar about the tall, slim figure—the way he walked, and the way he tilted his head as he listened to Fiona.
Don’t be stupid, she told herself, but still couldn’t take her eyes off him. As the gap between them lessened, her blood started to run cold. It wasn’t—it couldn’t possibly be…
The man lifted his hand to flick back a stray strand of light brown hair from his forehead and she knew it was Paul.
For an insane moment, she wanted to run towards him, be scooped up in his arms again, see the laughter in his blue eyes, feel his soft and sensual mouth against hers.
Stunned by her reaction, by feelings she thought she’d totally suppressed, she stopped abruptly. Another thirty seconds and they’d come face-to-face. Panic made her heart thump against her ribs.
“I-I’ve just remembered—er, I need some—some class lists.” Without waiting for Millie to reply, she turned and quickened her pace back towards the Old House.
Dimly she heard Millie call out something about coffees in the cafeteria. The whole world had receded and she was aware only of the painful pounding in her chest. Shock mixed with incredulity. Paul here at Hillside? Her mind simply refused to believe what her eyes had seen.
When she reached the Old House, she went straight to the ladies’ room. To her relief, no one else was there. She didn’t dare think, didn’t dare allow herself to feel anything. Not until she’d managed to control the trembling which was shaking her whole body.
Had she really seen Paul Hamilton again? She rested her hands on the edge of the washbasin and took a few deep breaths. Maybe she’d imagined it, maybe it hadn’t been him at all, simply someone who looked like him. Walked like him, tilted his head in the same way, pushed back his hair with the same mannerism.
Her shoulders sagged. No, of course it was Paul.
Bringing her hands up to her cheeks, she shook her head as she tried to think. Why on earth was he here in the Lake District? It was light years away from their apartment in North London, her job with the BBC and Paul’s high-profile research at London University. Light years, too, from the life of love and laughter they’d once shared, until it had all gone wrong.
She bit her lower lip as memories constricted her throat. Then she swallowed hard, took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. She could handle this, she really could.
There was absolutely no reason for her to be nervous. He was the one who’d wrongly accused her of having an affair and left her. She had nothing to be ashamed of. Except… A cold finger of fear ran down her spine. Except she’d never told him about his son…

'Changing the Future' is in the Spring Sale at Amazon, 99 cents / 99 pence
Lisa Marshall is stunned when celebrated volcanologist Paul Hamilton comes back into her life at the college where she now teaches. Despite their acrimonious break-up several years earlier, they soon realise the magnetic attraction between them is stronger than ever. 
However, the past is still part of the present, not least when Paul discovers Lisa has a young son. They can’t change the past, but will it take a volcanic eruption to help them change the future?


  1. It was great to read this again, Paula. This opening could be used as a teaching example of how to open a story.

  2. It's so tantalising, Paula. Anyone who reads this and hasn't read your book will surely be galvanised to do so.

  3. I love reunion stories...and you've thrown in a secret baby! Quite the winning combination. :)

    1. It was a good story to write, Debra - especially the dramatic volcanic eruption near the end!