#Excerpt of a #Chapter of I Made It Out By Avishai El #IMadeItOut #AvishaiEl @between_pr #BlogTour

I Made It Out
By Avishai El

I Made It Out banner

Today I am pleased to be on the blog tour for – I Made It Out. I have a sneaky peek at the cover, blurb and an excerpt of the first chapter to share with you Thanks to Reading Between The Lines for inviting me. Take a look and also discover where you can buy the book and website and social media links.

I Made It Out

Blurb

I Made It Out” details the raw, uncut, and honest life events of AvishaiEl.  She is 32 years old and decided to write this book to help other people who are going through situations that they feel as though they can’t get out of.  She affirms that you can get out of any situation and provides historical context in which she used her mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacities to face challenges head on.  In order to maintain peace, one has to go through things in life to get there.  She has gone through ups and downs.  All readers from all walks of life will be able to relate to her shared experiences.  On days where you feel low in life and on days where you feel high on life, opening this book and reading it will provide you with the tools you need to succeed no matter what.  Some of the imagery is explicit to paint a visual picture for the reader.
If she could get through it you can. You can make it out

Chapter One 

On rare occasions he would take me somewhere. The only time I remember him actually spending time with me at that age was when he went to get himself a sandwich filled with sprouts. He let me have a bite of his sandwich but didn’t get me a sand‐ wich. I always thought that was the weirdest thing to do. If I had a child, I would have also bought them something to eat. My father was a detached individual who acted impulsively. He was someone who would leave people, such as my mom and I, filled with unanswered questions. For example, him leaving was an impulsive action. There was no explanation. Another example is the time I asked my father about nationality. I asked my father, “What is my nationality?” His response, “We’re everything.” In my estimation his actions didn’t make sense to me. He wasn’t the type to admit to anything or take accountability. Saying, “Sorry” was not a part of his vocabulary and he always appeared aloof. This aloof, detached attitude that my father possessed put my life in danger. What was seen as ‘doing the right thing’ by my mom, because she followed a court order and didn’t want to keep her daughter away from her father, would later bring immense pain and sadness.
Every other Friday when I went to see my father at my paternal grandmother’s house, my mom would check in and my grandmother would make it seem as if she was there watching me at all times and would tell my mom that my father came over. My paternal grandmother would tell my mom I was doing fine. The reality was, unbeknown to my mom I wasn’t left with my father or his mother, I was left with my paternal grand‐ mother’s husband. He was an elderly man who I saw as a monster. That creature from hell looked like a classic Mr. Rogers to the average person. He would even smile at other people so you wouldn’t suspect the evil lurking underneath that mild exterior. He was very deceptive.
Every time I went over there, I was terrified, but I didn’t say a word to my mom. He abused me sexually and made me do despicable things against my will. He cussed often and called me a bitch. When I was left alone with him, he displayed different personalities. I saw a warped individual, not a person. I was only two-and-a-half to three-years old when I was violently abused.
No child should have to be brutalized. I remember wanting to run away from the house but he blocked me from leaving. I felt trapped. I can recall my mom dropping me off with another family member in the car. My paternal grandmother was outside to walk me in. I cried uncontrollably and was petrified to enter that house. The look on my mom’s face was one of uncertainty. She looked as though she didn’t want to leave me and kept asking me if I wanted to come with her. My maternal grandmother who was in the car with her said, “Just go ‘head,” an irritated edge to her voice. My paternal grandmother would say, “Let’s go in. She’s going to be fine. We’re going to go get breakfast.” This put my mother’s fears at ease. Yet, once again, she lied to my mom. She ended up leaving me with that monster again and then came the worst day of all.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Lou Presents an #Extract #Excerpt of Release By Karen Moore @KarenMo35731701 @darkstrokedark @between_pr #Release #Thriller #CrimeFiction #BlogTour

Today I have been gifted an extract from the first chapter of Release for you to read, be inspired by, be perhaps pulled in by. Find out more about the author, the blurb and of course a sneaky peak of part of the book. I thank Reading Between The Lines and  for gifting me the extract and inviting 

Release 2 

About the Author

Release authorKaren Moore is passionate about all things noir – crime, mystery, thrillers – and writes in that genre.

She has been writing all her life, mostly for work purposes, and is now delighted to be able to spend more time developing her own creative work.

Her debut novel, Torn, is a dark tale of intrigue and betrayal set in Sicily and North Wales. Release is the sequel, although it is written as a standalone novel for people who may not have read Torn.

Karen worked as a tour guide across Europe, North America and Canada, followed by a career in PR and marketing. She has lived in France and Italy, and is now based in Cheshire, England. Her cat, Lexi, often appears in her social media feeds.

 BLURB

ReleaseWhen Hanna’s estranged mafioso husband, Luciano, is released early from a Sicilian prison, she fears he will come after her and her young daughter, Eva.

The revelation leaves her with a dilemma. Invited to Sicily to attend her best friend’s wedding, can she really take the risk?

But even staying at home in North Wales may not be safe. Something strange is going on at her old cottage in the hills. As the lines between Sicily and North Wales blur, Hanna uncovers a criminal operation that leads her to fear for Eva’s life all over again.

Will Hanna ever be able to release herself from Luciano’s grip? Or will her discovery lead her into even deeper danger?

Excerpt

Chapter One

Shielding her eyes against the dazzling sunlight, Hanna shivered as she stepped out into the afternoon heat. Maybe it was the sharp contrast in temperature after the coolness of the cottage. Or was there another reason? Something was bothering her, an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach she’d had all day. It was as if the nightmares of the past were lurking in the shadows, threatening to return.
Trying to ignore it, she carried the tray of marinated chicken pieces over to the barbecue where Rhys was busy poking the glowing coals. His tanned face crinkled into a smile.
“Nearly ready now. Only a few more minutes. I’m ravenous. Don’t know about you?” Rhys almost had to shout to make himself heard above Eva’s shrieks as she tore around the garden after Bryn, his new squeaky doggy toy clamped between his jaws.
Hanna forced a smile. “Me, too.”
“How about an aperitif while we wait?”
She nodded and flopped onto a garden lounger. “That’d be great, just what I need.”
Rhys wiped the beads of sweat off his forehead with the back of his arm. “Fine. Won’t be a
minute…” he said, already making for the back door into the kitchen.
Hanna sat back with a sigh. Cosmo, their adopted cat, stretched out lazily on the patio, basking
in the sun, purring contentedly. The heady scent of sweet honeysuckle wafted through the air. The garden was a blaze of colour: swathes of pink and purple mallow, dainty red fuchsias, spectacular blue hydrangeas, giant yellow daisies, and delicate peach roses. Amazing how they manage to bloom with so little attention, she thought. There was even a fig tree, although she doubted it would bear fruit in the Welsh climate. The fine weather wouldn’t last long.
The warm sun made her drowsy and she was almost nodding off when she heard the chink of ice against glass. Rhys set two tall drinks down on the table, together with a bowl of olives. He collapsed onto the lounger next to her.
“I thought you might like one of these,” he said, handing her a glass filled with a sparkling dark-coloured liquid, a twist of blood orange clinging to its rim.
She took a sip, savouring the familiar bittersweet orange flavour that immediately conjured up memories of Sicily. Memories more bitter than sweet. A shudder ran through her as if a dark cloud had passed over the sun. Shrugging it off, she said, “Orange vermouth, my favourite! Wherever did you find it?”
Rhys grinned as he reached for his drink, studying her over the top of his glass. “I saw it the other day in a farm shop and remembered you telling me how much you used to like it.”
“It’s wonderful, really refreshing. The perfect summer drink,” said Hanna, reaching for an olive.
Rhys downed half his drink in one gulp. “Mmm, not bad. I might have to have another one.” Hanna laughed. “You’re supposed to sip it slowly and relish its tangy aroma.”
“You sound like an advert! No wonder you’re in marketing!”
“You’d better get a move on with that chicken. Eva’ll be famished after all that running
around.”
“OK, boss, anything you say.” Rhys finished his drink, returned to the barbecue, and started to
load the chicken onto the rack.
Hanna took another sip and scanned the garden again. Eva was still charging around after Bryn in a game of hide-and-seek that he seemed to be winning. Peals of laughter and high- pitched squeals from the squeaky toy floated on the air. Just as well we’ve no immediate neighbours to disturb, she thought. Rhys busied himself at the barbecue, deftly wielding a pair of tongs, humming softly to himself.
So much had happened since Sicily and her daughter’s kidnapping two years earlier. By some miracle Eva had emerged remarkably unscathed, and as her fifth birthday approached, she was growing into a chirpy and inquisitive little girl. She seemed happy in their new home, an old stone cottage in the little village of Abergarron, slightly set back from the North Wales coast, and had settled in well at the school she had been attending for the past few months.
But for Hanna it hadn’t been so easy, and she still bore the scars of her Sicilian husband’s betrayal and deceit. What hurt the most was the apparent ease with which he had shunned both his wife and daughter in favour of the noxious family business. But at least that was all behind her now, and Luciano was paying the price: a fourteen-year jail sentence in Palermo’s Pagliarelli maximum-security prison.
Trying to dismiss her feeling of foreboding, Hanna reminded herself she had much to be thankful for. Eva no longer asked about Luciano and her Sicilian grandparents, and had accepted Rhys without too many questions. Hanna’s own relationship with Rhys was warm and loving, a bond that had developed naturally without any great effort on either part.

#Extract of Rising Star by Michele Kwasniewski @MicheleKwas @RandSmithBooks @RandomTTours #YA #RisingStar

Rising Star
By Michele Kwasniewski
Extract/Excerpt

Today I am pleased to show you an extract/excerpt from Rising Star, thanks to Random TTours Rand-Smith Books and Michele Kwasniewski for providing the passage.
I will also say that Rising Star is an interesting sounding book that looks at the price of fame and fortune, which is a highly fitting for today’s society of young adults. Find out about the author, the book and then discover an extract from it to get your reading eyes going.
Readers… meet Dani Truhart

About the Author

Michelle K Author PicThe author, Michele Kwasniewski, is an entertainment industry insider who has seen what the Hollywood machine can do to people – having worked for many years in film and television production on such films and TV shows as Primal FearIndependence DayEvita, Face/OffBig Brother, and many TCL, HGTV, and Discovery series including: Meet the Pandas, Adoption Story, Wedding Story, and Extra Yardage. 

 

Michelle Kwasneiwski Author PicWith her book, she shares the glamour and excitement of fame as well as the hard work it takes to achieve success and the price of living life in the public eye.  Everyone wants to be famous, but most people have no idea what that really means.  Michele has seen it firsthand.  She is an active member of the Producers Guild of America.

 

Blurb

What’s the Price of Fame?

Rising Star Cover ImageIn the first book in THE RISE AND FALL OF DANI TRUEHART series, RISING STAR, fifteen-year-old Dani Truehart is living a life that is not quite her own. Driven by her mother’s desire for fame and fortune, she has spent her childhood dutifully training for a career as a pop star. On the brink of discovery, doubts begin to creep into Dani’s mind as she questions her own desire for fame, and she wonders whether she can trust the motivations of the adults who are driving her forward.

Following a brilliant audition arranged by her vocal/dance coach and former ’80s pop icon Martin Fox, Dani is thrown full-force into the music industry. She leaves her friends, family and scheming mother behind to move with Martin, who has become her legal guardian, into the Malibu compound of her new manager, Jenner Redman. Jenner, the former swindling manager of Martin’s boy band, leverages what’s left of his depleted fortune to launch Dani’s career.

Isolated from her life at home and trying to stay apace with her demanding schedule, Dani struggles to keep in touch with those she loves, connect to her withholding mother and find her voice as an artist. With Martin and Jenner at odds over their rocky past and finding herself unprepared to handle the pressures of her future singing career, Dani’s debut album and future stardom are at risk of falling apart.

Rising Star Cover Image

Extract/Excerpt

Sean, the lights, and the gym quickly dissolve into my shrieking

alarm clock and my equally grating mother yelling my name. I roll over groaning and blindly striking out for the clock, knocking odds and ends off the nightstand. A final violent swipe turns off the alarm. I pry open my eyes. It’s 5:12 a.m.

“Danilynn Marie Truehart, get up this instant! Don’t make me walk up those stairs and get you, girl.”

I pause for a second, wondering what evil I’ve done in my past life to deserve such torment in this one. Jodi Truehart is her own special brand of torture. Some days it’s all I can do not to either burst into tears or erupt in a tirade of swear words. My mother never stops. She is unrelenting, unforgiving, and utterly determined to make me into a star.

Sighing as I haul my bones out of bed, I remind myself that if I’m really that miserable, I could make the endless lessons and rehearsals stop. My mother is all about the bottom line. If there’s any chance she won’t receive a big payoff after all these years of pushing and spending, she’ll cut her losses and turn her maniacal stage-mother- ing skills to some other money-making prospect. She’d probably just have another baby. I chuckle to myself…third time’s a charm, right?

Grabbing the stack of workout wear on the dresser, I stumble down the hall to the bathroom. My father is shambling up the stairs from the kitchen, a steaming mug of coffee in hand.

“Sorry about all the noise, Dad. Guess I overslept.”

He shakes his head. “No worries, Marie. I had an early meeting any- way.” He blows me a kiss and continues down the hall to the master bedroom.

My dad is the only one who calls me Marie. I’m named after his mother, who used to visit us a lot when we were younger. We used to hang out at her house all the time, and she used to bake the best cakes ever. But there was some sort of falling out between her and my mom, and we stopped going to see her. No one ever mentions it, and I’m too scared to ask what happened. Though I haven’t seen her in years, I always think of her when he calls me “Marie.”

“Where’s my apology, superstar?” Geena appears in the doorway of her darkened room, arms folded across her t-shirt, her blonde hair tousled. She smirks and gives me a playful slap on the butt as I pass. “Better get in that shower.” Geena puts her hands on her hips and wags her finger at me in a perfect imitation of our mother’s Texas twang, “Don’t make her walk up those steps and get you, girl.”

I groan. “God, you’re lucky you’re the smart one! If you’d been able to sing, maybe they’d have stopped at one kid, and I’d be blissfully unaware up in the stars somewhere.”

“You make your own luck, sis, believe me.” Geena winks at me and disappears into her room.

Rising Star BT Poster

An Extract/Excerpt of White Eye of The Needle by Chris Campbell @Citizen_Chris @Choir_Press @kenyon_isabelle #Poetry #ContemporaryPoetryExtract

Today I am excited to present you with an extract of the latest poems by Chris Campbell.
Thanks to Isabelle Kenyon for this opportunity. I also have a bit about the author for now, but then look out tomorrow (Wednesday) for a very insightful and highly interesting interview I had with Chris Campbell.

Cover White Eye of the Needle

About the Poetry Collection

White Eye of the Needle, the second book of poems by Chris Campbell, explores human connections, both passing and intimate. The collection was put together in Nottingham and also includes pieces from the former  Journalist’s time in Bristol, London, Swansea, Glasgow and Gloucestershire, plus visits abroad including a honeymoon in Madagascar and trips to Tignes, France.

Extract/Excerpt

Dawn

When exhausted birds have flown away and tweeted their last breath
that’s when i’ll close my eyes and say there’s more to life than death.

For when they call, they call with heart through feathered chest
and as they go, they fly with hope that after song they’ll rest.

and i in bed as next day looms and dawn begins to stir,

think back before this sombre place to sunlit gardens far.

a silent bird that sings no more may have no song to make,

but as i lie in deepened thought, my bitten nails, break.

as once it sang, brought the day and closed it with a verse,

now every time i think of it, my anxiety gets worse.

Take my clothes, my pillow too and place me by the tree

where these poor birds once posed and sang and breathed relief to me.

Trainers

in fields of yellow daffodils

and grass as fine as hair,

that’s where my chest beside you once

grew under torn trainers.

like cats that toy with life,

we chance, pounce and play,

i count the years, and ‘til we stroll again,

all blue skies will feel grey.

Praise for White Eye of the Needle

‘These poems are sparkling with affection. Campbell finds beauty in the everyday, in the
connections to each other and to the land. in a world when we are feeling cut off, these poems
are like a bridge back to some sense of balance. They are celebrations of relationships, places
and of being alive. some of them feel like a home i’ve never been to.’
– David Linklater

‘At a time when the world feels a little darker, White Eye of the Needle invites the reader
to gaze upon a world where “houses rub shoulders”, “the taps of shoes are circling” and
dawn spreads its welcome light “like the oranges brightening seville”. in this tender, wistful
collection, Campbell observes humanity with a sharp eye – where the lockdown poems offer a
relatable and searingly honest depiction of our days transfixed on blinking screens, there is
always the human touch to offer relief in a lemon dress, the notes of ‘Für Elise’, tumbling
hedgerows and the tender simplicity of a shared meal with a loved one. like the flowers that
push through its city gardens, this is a collection that reminds us that it’s the human
connection and the power of the natural world that keep hope alive in a world gone dark.’
– Natalie Ann Holborow

Buy Link: Waterstones 

Front Cover White Eye of the Needle

About the Author

Chris Campbell, born in Dublin, is a former national and regional journalist who worked for newspaper titles in London, Bristol, bath, south Wales and Gloucestershire. Chris has a passion for poetry, writing and travel and has judged young writer competitions in Swansea. he graduated with an MA in Journalism from Kingston University and a BA (hons) in Economic and political Development from the University of Exeter, with a year’s study in Uppsala, Sweden. he currently lives in Nottingham.

An #Excerpt from Empire of Ants by #Susanne Foitzik #Olaf Fritsche @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #Extract #Nature #Ants #Insects #NonFiction #BlogTour

Empire of Ants

The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s
Tiny Conquerors

By Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche
Extract/Excerpt

Empire of Ants Graphic

Ants are amazing insects in my humble opinion and they are a gardener’s friend. They are, like worms, great for the soil. In saying that, there is more to an ant, as tiny as they are, they have been around for centuries. There is more to the ant than meets the eye… Find out more in this excerpt I have kindly been provided with by – RandomThingsTours and publisher Octopus Books for the blog tour.

Empire of Ants cover

Excerpt

Taken from Empire of Ants: The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth’s Tiny Conquerors by Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche.

Empire of Ants GraphicIf there’s anyone for whom the phrase L’état, c’est moi (“I am the state”) is true, it’s the ant queen. She is the past, present, and future of her colony. She establishes the colony, bears all the ant workers, males, and young queens that live within it, and once she dies, the colony will often perish soon afterward. And to achieve all this, all she has to do is take a trip out her front door.

A QUEEN’S GIRLHOOD

Ant queens are generally made, not born. Excluding a few exceptions, genes rarely play a part in this process. The nannies in the nest nursery follow to a T the recipe for creating “young queens” (as we call them). First, the red wood ants, Formica obscuripes for instance, take one of the winter eggs, laid at the end of the dormancy period necessitated by the cold temperatures. This process is not possible with eggs laid in the summer, for reasons that remain a mystery to science, and don’t seem to bother the ants much either. But the right egg is just the beginning; the wet-nurse ants must also feed the royal larvae a special diet. This must be plentiful and of high quality. If a red wood ant princess receives this cocktail of nutrients within the first three days of her life as a larva, then the die is cast and she is on the path to becoming a hopeful young queen. And she will be queen—along with a couple hundred of her sisters from the noblest caste.

When it comes to the line of succession, ants do not like to put all their eggs in one basket. The risks of something going wrong are many. From the disappointment of no suitable prince being available or a failure to mate, or the lack of an appropriate location for a new nest nearby, to a deadly encounter with a predator such as a woodpecker—which feast on well-fed young queens—there are any number of opportunities for failure and an early demise. According to estimates, only one in 10,000 young queens is successful in founding a new colony.

The young virgin queens have no inkling of this at first. They are far larger than their worker sisters and have no need to work away, boasting two pairs of wings on their backs. What these are good for, however, does not become apparent until a mild day between June and July in North America,

when it is warm enough.

When the moment comes, the whole anthill is seized by a curious unrest, unlike anything seen in the nest. An innate urge forces the flying young queens and males—still around, for once—toward the nest’s exits. Anyone else wanting to follow the call is held back by scrappy ant workers. Only on a secret signal do all the nests of a particular species open their doors to release the reproductive insects all at once, and in one fell swoop the exits are swarming with flying males and young queens. They traipse around somewhat aimlessly and eventually take to the air for their nuptial flights.

The timing of the nuptial flight during the summer depends on the species of ant. Ants of the species Temnothorax nylanderi fly out in the two hours before sundown, while reproductive ants of the species Temnothorax unifasciatus prefer to swarm in the morning, around dawn. These different swarming times ensure that nuptial flights do not result in hybrid couplings between males and young queens of different species. Some ants don’t leave the nest at all: Young army ant queens stay home on their wedding night, awaiting their lovers in the safety of the nest.

The choreography of nuptial flights also varies according to species. Some males move around in thick swarms of young bachelors, appearing like dark clouds from a distance. If a young queen collides with one of these groups, it swiftly descends into an enormous orgy in full flight. Other queens prefer solid ground. They seek out a romantic spot and emit pheromones, scent signals that no male can resist. Young queens can have sex with as few as one or as many as a dozen males—but just this once. Once the wedding day is over, that’s it for life.

This is why the queen diligently gathers as many sperm as she can and stores them inside a special pouch known as the spermatheca. This can hold a few hundred million sperm cells. Not all that many, when we consider that many queens will produce up to 150 million offspring in the next ten, twenty, or thirty years of their lives. A third to a half of these sperms will fertilize an egg and thus contribute to the next generation of ants. This is a considerably better ratio than human sperm enjoy, as only around one in every 250 million human sperm cells succeeds in merging with an egg. Human sperm also have an expiration date of around a month after production, while the cells stored in an ant queen’s spermatheca remain viable for decades.

Once the sun begins to sink toward the horizon, the wedding celebrations are over. These millions of future mothers and fathers have little to say to each other after sex—and very different fates await them.

About The Authors

Empire of Ants Suzanne Foitzik Author Pic

Susanne Foitzik is an evolutionary biologist, behavioral scientist and international
authority on ants. After completing her PhD in ant evolution and behavior and conducting
postdoctoral work in the US, she became a professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of
Munich. Currently, she teaches at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany,
where she studies the behaviors of slaveholding ants and different work roles in insect
colonies. Her findings have been published in over 100 scientific papers to date.

Olaf Fritsche is a science journalist and biophysicist with a PhD in biology. He was
previously an editor at the German-language edition of Scientific American, is the author
and coauthor of many books, and has been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines.

Empire of Ants BT Poster

There’s Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross @drf10 @OrendaBooks #Excerpt #Extract

There’s Only One Danny Garvey
By David F. Ross
Excerpt/Extract

Today I am re-showing you an excerpt/extract from the book – There’s Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross. It may inspire you for an Easter Read.  It’s great for not just sport, including football fans, but also for those looking for a bit of hope. The extract/excerpt, along with the blurb will give you a sense of what is within the book and may well whet your appetite for more…

I have read and reviewed a book by David F. Ross before and he’s a very good author.

Take a look at the blurb, an excerpt from the book and finally a bit about the Scottish author himself and praise for the book.

Danny Garvey Book Pic

Blurb

Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned.
And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s the problem.
A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.

Danny Garvey Book Pic

Extract/Excerpt

—There hasn’t been a word out of him since he got up. Every question or remark I’ve made gets ignored. He’s always had these periods where he just retreats into himself. It’s like he’s in a trance; impossible to reach. I hope today isn’t another one of those times.

Thirteen seasons have passed, but I walk into this dilapidated place known to everyone as The Barn like I was returning to it after a disappointing two-week summer break. I’m anxious. Sweating. Not about the job – about the interview; the kind of social situation I dread. I wander down the narrow corridor. It hasn’t seen fresh paint since Higgy volunteered to decorate three months before I left. The carpets are new, strangely enough. Loud and headache-inducing, admittedly, but new.

I pass the office, a large cupboard rammed with everything from cleaners’ mops, detergent supplies and cans of petrol, to last season’s team strips, balls and training equipment. It smells like something has crawled in there and died. Months ago.

The changing rooms are exactly as I remember them. Cold, dark, windowless and stinking of a mix of stale body odour and Ralgex spray. The showers drip. The urinal trough is dented in the middle, leaving a puddle at the opposite end from the drain. And the light switch has gone on strike. I make a mental note to swap the home and away dressing rooms for next season. There’s not much to choose between them but I’d rather we benefitted from a working radiator when winter hits.

The season we got to the league cup final, a small army of volunteers materialised. The facilities were transformed. Amazing what a wee bit of spit, polish and elbow grease can achieve, they’d say proudly. A selfless backroom team, galvanised by the unfettered joy of an unexpected cup run.

Failure, on the other hand, is like a rot that sets into everything and everyone. A blanket of gloom descending on a whole community of desperate men. For this is a corner of community life that is almost exclusively male. A pervading depression descends. There’s too much invested. Too little self-control on the sidelines when that investment bears nothing. Fans arguing and fighting amongst themselves. As if the village didn’t have enough to contend with.

—I came in three hours ago. I hoovered the committee-room carpet, after spreading this powdery freshener stuff that I’d seen advertised. It smells like a bloody perfume counter. I dusted. I scrubbed. I laid out clean glasses and placed the chairs for the committee tight together, like a defensive wall facing a Beckham free kick. I put the heater on, to shift the chill that makes your fingers go blue. It’s a new season. New hope. I hope the interviewing panel notice.

Praise for There’s Only One Danny Garvey
‘Full of comedy, pathos & great tunes’ Hardeep Singh Kohli •
‘Warm, funny & evocative’ Chris Brookmyre •
‘Dark, hilarious & heartbreaking’ Muriel Gray • ‘An astonishing tour de force’ John Niven • ‘A real new talent on the Scottish literary scene’ Press & Journal • ‘By turn hilarious and heart-breaking, more than anything Ross creates beautifully rounded characters full of humanity and
perhaps most of all, hope’ Liam Rudden, Scotsman • ‘‘David Ross carved out an enduring place for himself among contemporary Scottish novelists’ Alastair Mabb, Herald Scotland • ‘This is a book that might just make you cry like nobody’s watching’ Iain MacLeod, Sunday Mail

About the Author

Danny Garvey David F Ross Pic

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespasand The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.