Sharing another exclusive excerpt – this time from Star Struck by Karen Mossman. Don’t forget to help your favourite authors by leaving a rating and review on purchase sites, Goodreads and various book clubs. Reviews help independent authors get their voices heard!
Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grand father and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a great, great grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to have gone into the fiction market.
Karen has been writing for many years, but had not pursued it professionally. However in 2013, she found herself redundant from her job and decided to write full time. “Putting together collections of short stories was exciting as I didn’t think my writing would ever reach a wide audience,” she said.
She hopes to add to her short story collection and will have a novel available for kindle in the near future. Karen is also a proud contributor to the upcoming anthology of stories which will be published by #Awethors – Awethology. Watch out for her short story called Down by the River, inspired by Richard Mark’s song called Hazard.
Extract from Star Struck which is set in the 1980s
Jalo’s was a vast place inside, a mass of coloured lights and mirrored pillars. A big circular dance floor, slightly raised, slowly turned. It had mirrors round the sides, which collected reflections and shot beams of colours round the room. There was a long bar across one wall with a mirror stretching the full length above it.
“Very nice,” said Joanna, taking it all in.
The place was already filling up, but as Solly had said earlier, it never got too crowded because of its size.
“What would you like to drink?” asked Jack.
“Lager for me,” Joanna said absently, as she watched people dancing as the floor moved and sparkled.
“Anything for me, surprise me,” said Sandie.
The lads went off to the bar and Sandie picked up the beat of the Duran Duran and headed for the dance floor.
Unconsciously, the sisters had dressed similarly. Joanna was wearing a short pink skirt and Sandie was in a short yellow one. Their tops were similar too, in contrasting colours and with wide shoulders. Sandie had back-combed her long hair till it was full around her face and she wore a scarf as a hair band. Joanna had moved her ponytail to the side of her head, wrapped it in a pink tie-dye, and let it fall in a long loose drape, to move with her hair.
Joanna knew that being with each other made them both feel good; they felt strong because they were a unit that fitted together. They didn’t need to say things because they understood each other so well. Quite often they would say one thing, but each knew they meant something else entirely.
Occasionally, as they danced, their eyes met and a smile played on their lips. They were aware they looked good and that people watched them together and they liked the way that made them feel.
After dancing to Flock of Seagulls and Richard Marx, they came off the dance floor and joined the lads, who had been watching them too. Jack handed them their drinks.
“Let me guess,” said Sandie, sniffing the glass before tasting it. “Martini?” Jack nodded.
“Are you both dancers, then?” Solly asked Joanna. Sandie was a showgirl who worked in the theatre.
“Oh no, I’m just a shop assistant,” she said leaning close to him so he could hear above the music.
“Just? There is no only just, as far as jobs are concerned.”
“Why, aren’t you working?”
“Not at the moment,” he said, taking a mouthful of beer. Joanna noticed he preferred the handled glasses and a beer with no head, whereas at home, the lads liked a straight glass with a good head of beer.
“What do you do?” she asked.
He leaned down a little closer, “I do anything and everything. I’m a builder by trade, but I’ve been working at the Newmarket Theatre, been building sets recently.”
“So why aren’t you now?”
“Walked out or sacked?”
“Disagreement with the stage manager.”
“What happened?” asked Joanna curiously.
“I belted him.”
“What!” She gasped and laughed.
“There are some new offices going up on the Tottenham Court Road, I have a mate there who says he can probably get me in.”
“Well, there’s confidence for you.”
Solly took another mouthful of beer and shrugged half-heartedly.
“So why did you belt the stage manager, then?”
He narrowed his ice-blue eyes. “What are you so bleeding interested for?”
Joanna laughed, “Oh stop being so serious, I’m making conversation, that’s all.” She drained her glass.
“Do you want another?”
She nodded and handed it to him.
As she watched him go to the bar, Sandie tapped her on the shoulder. “Do you want to dance again?”
Joanna found herself chatting to Solly for most of the evening after that. Sandie stuck with Jack, Woody flitted between Jack and Solly, and John went off with a dark-haired girl.
Somewhere around her sixth glass of lager, Joanna realised she was tipsy, and Solly was most willing to keep them coming. The alcohol had loosened both of their tongues and Joanna found herself flirting outrageously with him. After all, she was a free agent now. Solly seemed very receptive and they were both giggling about something when Sandie came over and asked if she wanted to go the toilet, which of course meant that she wanted to talk.
The toilets had four cubicles and a mirror that ran just above a shelf, with stools fastened to the floor all along. Coming out of the cubicles, they washed their hands and sat down to touch up their make-up and hair.
“I would watch that Solly if I were you,” said Sandie, as she re-applied her mascara. “Why?” asked Joanna, smudging in more blusher with a finger.
“He has a bad reputation.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s got a fast temper, I’ve heard. He likes to use his fists. I’d watch him Jo, if I were you.”
Getting out her hairbrush, Joanna ran it vigorously down her ponytail.
“How do you know, have you seen him?”
“Well no, but Jack’s been telling me.”
“You don’t want to listen to gossip, Sandie, you should know that.”
“I’m just watching out for you, that’s all. After everything that’s happened, I don’t want you to get hurt again.”
Setting down the brush, Joanna looked at her through the mirror. “I’ve only just met the guy. I like him. I know you’re only looking out for me, but I just want a bit of fun.”
“That’s what I want too, but just be careful. I know what you’re like, too.”
Joanna gave her a wicked grin and left.
(All materials used here with permission from the author)