Pssst: download a Word .doc version of my Novel Pitch Template & view a breakdown of what goes on it, HERE

Tiverton Literary Festival starts today (June 3-7th, 2015) in my hometown down here in deepest, darkest Devon, so to celebrate I’m publishing an excerpt from all my books! Today, it’s JASMINE’S STORY. Read on for info … enjoy!


The Decision: Jasmine’s Story asks, “what would you do, if only you could save your best friend?”

Jasmine’s Story follows the intertwining fates of two best friends, Jasmine and Olivia, both 17. Best friends since kindergarten, Jasmine and Olivia have each other’s backs until glamorous Ellie arrives.

When Ellie invites Jasmine to an end of summer “blow out” at her parents’ palatial seafront home, Jasmine’s loyalties are torn when Ellie tells her Olivia is not welcome.

Should Jasmine go to the party, or not? The answer is complicated not only by Jasmine’s burgeoning relationship with Ellie’s older brother Niall, but her own secret desire to be accepted, even “popular” like mean girl Ellie.

What’s more, Olivia hides a secret of her own – one only another girl, the enigmatic and arty Jenny Keller – can corroborate …


“An achingly relevant story about teens and their rocky relationships”

”It wld be easy to take the moralistic finger-wagging path but author Lucy Hay is smarter than that”

“Sharp observational eye for the nuances of the battleground that is modern teenage life”

If it was you … what would YOU do?zcX4Ky5gi


Olivia looked across the road at the charity shop. The only one in Winby, it was the kind of charity shop that smelled of mothballs and cat pee, rather than the ones that competed with discount fashion stores for price-savvy bargain hunters.

Mismatched baskets of belts, shoes and Bric-A-Brac lined the floor and behind the counter were boxes of dusty, handmade woollen toys. In the window, a dummy wore long past-it wedding dress with pearlised buttons to the neck and voluminous sleeves. It must have last been in fashion around the time my Mum was born, never mind us.

“I have an idea.” Olivia grinned.

The bell rang with a dull twang as we crossed the threshold. A middle-aged woman at the counter, too much bronzer, white lipstick and orange nails, looked up from the local paper and scowled at us. Olivia met her eye defiantly and stalked straight over to the wedding dress. It was meant for someone about my size and had been in the window so long, it was less ivory and more yellow.

“What you reckon?” Olivia said.

“Me, a bride?” I said doubtfully. “Who’s the groom?”

“Me!” Laughed Olivia.

She took one look at the old dear behind the counter and lowered her voice. “I’ll wear one of my Dad’s suits. Zombie bride and groom. We’ll be the best looking couple there! C’mon. It’ll be a laugh?”

It was a good idea… If we were both invited. But we weren’t. And I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to tell Olivia now, after Jenny dropped me in it. Probably better just to swerve the party, forget all about it.

“It’s someone’s wedding dress, doesn’t seem right?” I stalled.

“They’re probably divorced now.” Olivia pointed out. “If I was divorced, I’d be well glad to hear my old dress had become a Zombie Bride!”

“If she’s divorced.” I countered.

“She gave it to charity! She doesn’t want it any more. Whoever she is, doesn’t care!”

Olivia called over to the old woman at the till who was staring at us. I’d seen her before, though I didn’t know her name: she was the type of woman who involved herself in all parish business, official and unofficial: fetes, Winby carnival, flowers at the church, though none of it appeared to make her happy. She looked permanently put upon and angsty, ready to burst with complaints of how she was not appreciated.

“How much for the wedding dress?” Olivia enquired.

“Twenty.” The old woman said, not even looking up. She licked her fingers and turned the page of her paper.

“I’ll give you ten.” Olivia said immediately.

The old woman blinked in surprise. Now Olivia had her attention. She pursed her thin lips, considering her next move. “Fifteen.”

“Twelve.” Olivia declared, showing her the ten pound note from her pocket and nodding at me. I sighed and scraped through my purse, gathering up two pounds in silver and coppers. I held it up: got it.

“Twelve pounds fifty and you’ve got yourself a deal, young lady.” The old woman said.

Olivia took her money and mine, plus another fifty pence and laid it all out on the glass counter in front of her.

“Let’s get it down for you.” The old woman said, cracking a smile at last.

Five minutes later and the wedding dress was in our possession. (“We’ll look after it,” I’d offered as we left. The old woman laughed and shook her head. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re using it for … You youngsters think we were born yesterday!”). Olivia had also found an old man’s shirt and an incongruously jazzy tie on one of the hangers (“We can rip these!” She said), plus a battered bowler hat, which the old woman threw in for another two pounds.

“What about make up?” Olivia fretted. It was too early for Halloween. As we stood on the seafront puzzling it out, Mum appeared on the steps of Flossie’s with a box full of swim suits and flip flops.

“Alright, girls.” she said cheerfully, replenishing the display outside. Almost immediately two grockle parents swooped on some tiny swim shorts for their baby, cooing over how tiny they were. Their child – boy or girl, who could tell? – dozed in blissful ignorance in its pushchair.

“Hey Linda. Have you got any Halloween stuff in the stockroom?” Olivia asked, forthright as usual.

Mum smirked. She was fond of Olivia. Sometimes I wondered if she’d prefer it if I were more like her.

“No, sold it all off a while back. Why?”

“Party.” Olivia said.

“Right. A Halloween party in August?” Mum said, confused.

“No, fancy dress. We’re going as a Zombie bride and groom.” Olivia announced.

“Is that right …?” Mum said pointedly, looking at me, her expression difficult to read. Was she annoyed I hadn’t asked for permission? For a microsecond, my doomed heart leapt. She could ban me from going! Then I could avoid having to tell Olivia about her lack of invite AND save face with Ellie: Sorry, I’m grounded.

“Oh. Sorry Mum.” I said, ignoring Olivia’s shriek of indignance as I said: “I won’t go then.”

“She can go, can’t she Linda?” Olivia demanded.

“Of course. Just wouldn’t mind being reminded who runs the show round here, that’s all.” Mum said dryly. My heart sank all over again. How was I going to break it to Olivia now?

“Hang on a sec, girls.”

Mum disappeared back inside the shop and we saw a light turn on upstairs, in the stock room. A few moments later Mum appeared with a box and handed them to us, with a smile. Inside: face paints and brushes. Perfect for Zombie faces.

“Been upstairs for ages, never sold. You have them if you like.” She said.

“Thanks!” Olivia replied.


Blank white book w/pathThen download THE DECISION: JASMINE’S STORY to your Kindle today, HERE(or click the pic). No Kindle? No problem – download the Kindle app for your iPad, tablet or phone, HERE. LIKE The Decision on Facebook, follow via Tumblr and on Twitter as @DecisionSeries.

Pssst: download a Word .doc version of my Novel Pitch Template & view a breakdown of what goes on it, HERE

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