For a week beginning today, Friday 9th June, The Silent Kookaburra, my psychological suspense novel set in 1970s Australia, will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion for only 99c/p.
Extract from The Silent Kookaburra Chapter 9...
‘Hey, Tanya, great to see you,’ he said in the dreamy ocean voice. He sat beside me on my rock, scratched Steely’s head and handed me another bag of Redskins and Milk Bottles.
‘Yum. Thanks, Uncle Blackie.’
We sat in silence while I munched through the Milk Bottles.
‘Did you know he’s the best camouflaged lizard?’ I said, pointing to a frilled-neck lizard the same colour as the rock on which it was sunning itself.
‘Oh yes, a master chameleon,’ Uncle Blackie said. ‘So, managing to keep your chin up at home, Tanya? I gather things’ve got pretty bad?’
I shrugged, my fingers flying to the cowlick. ‘Yeah, pretty bad what with … with everything.’
Uncle Blackie swiped at a fly buzzing around my leg. A hand slid down onto my knee, rough fingers rubbing at the scar. ‘What happened here?’
‘Banged into Mum’s Hill’s Hoist.’
‘That must’ve hurt.’
I shrugged again, my leg jerking away from his touch. ‘A bit.’
He cupped a hand under my chin and lifted my face to meet his dark gaze. ‘Your mum could’ve been a model,’ he said. ‘Just like you could be, Tanya.’
‘Me, a model? Oh yeah, sure.’
‘Yeah, sure,’ he said. ‘And you know what? After I met you up the bush track that first time, I had this idea.’
‘Have you thought about entering Miss Beach Girl 1973, Tanya?’
‘What’s Miss Beach Girl 1973?’
‘A beauty quest,’ Uncle Blackie said. ‘Early next year, the organisers will walk around Wollongong beaches picking out beautiful girls. The winner gets a trip to New York and a guaranteed six-month photographic modelling contract. So, the chance to become a famous model.’
‘Be cool to be a model but I’ve got Buckley’s Chance of that ever happening.’
‘Don’t be silly, you’ve got every chance in the world,’ Uncle Blackie said, and as he told me about the photographers who would photograph me in the latest-fashion clothes with jewellery and make-up that would make my eyes glitter like amber and emeralds, my cheeks grew hotter.
‘I could take some photos of you, Tanya, show you what it’s all about. If you want, that is, then you’d know exactly what it is to be a model. What do you say?’
‘Nah, everybody reckons I’ve got bat wings for ears. “Batgirl” they call me –– and I am fat. I know I am.’
‘You’ll slim down, don’t worry,’ he said. ‘Besides, those models aren’t as beautiful as they’re made out, you know, Tanya. It’s all camera angles and make believe. They’re quite plain in real life in fact. And I already told you, just wear your hair a different way and nobody will notice your ears. The same as your mum did when she was young.’
‘You’re really a photographer, Uncle Blackie?’
‘Yeah, I’m pretty good with a camera. So what do you say? No pressure, only if you want.’
‘Okay, if you really think I’ve got a chance at this beauty quest, why not?’
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|Australia's "not very silent" Kookaburra!|