But like anyone who knows, writing and actually completing a novel is no mean feat and I have to say without the wonderful team at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I don't think I would have ever completed my first full novel that has been stuck in my head for over ten years.
Some of you may be aware of this book in the making if you follow me on Facebook because I recently asked your advice on a front cover design and the feedback was amazing, so thank you guys! The much requested 'no.5' cover has now been chosen and I am delighted to announce that my novel Revenge in Thailand is now available to buy as an eBook, and now available to buy as a paperback, via Amazon!
If I haven't bored you so far and you would like to know more about my novel then please do read on as I share Chapter 1 below.
So how did the story come about. Well, over the last ten to fifteen years I have traveled a lot, mainly to the Far East, but it was my first trip to Thailand that really stayed with me. Even when I was in the throws of labour I took my mind back to the times I spent in the Thai Jungle, listening to the sounds of the Cicadas in the jungle and relaxing by the gas lamps on the River Kwai. It really was a world away from anywhere I had visited before at that time and I hope through Revenge in Thailand you too can take yourself away and allow your senses to imagine a little of the exotic Far East - of course whilst also enjoying a fast-paced thriller with a little hint of romance.
Revenge in Thailand by Laura Eccleston
I had hot poo.
This of course wasn’t a medical diagnosis. This was what my best friend Kathy and I had termed for what we felt in our stomachs whenever our nerves got the better of us, although I had no reason to feel that way this morning, I just did.
It was a typical Tuesday. I’d whacked my phone with its incessant alarm onto the floor and then frantically grabbed it again as I remembered to check for any text messages from my loser of a boyfriend Paul, but as usual there were none. I had then dragged myself into the shower, where I now stood motionless watching the water pour over my head trying to imagine I was under a waterfall somewhere tropical, wishing it was Friday.
I was of course debating, as I did every morning, whether to throw a sickie, checking the clock in the bathroom every few seconds to see how long I had before reaching the train in time for my horrendous commute to work. I really didn’t feel like going in today as I was still dwelling over the gossip I had heard from work yesterday – the rumour that Paul had been chatting up some other girl in a club over the weekend that quite clearly wasn’t me.
‘Maybe they were confusing him with someone else,’ I tried to convince myself, ‘maybe they were just jealous because he was so cute,’ I thought, but I knew deep down it was true. I was just one girl of many and my idea of being his girlfriend was only based on the fact that I saw him more than the other girls did. Kathy always asked why I put up with him, but I was only asking myself the same question. I just didn’t want to admit that I was scared of losing him, even though I hated the way he treated me. I guess I was just lonely and probably delusional, but he had been the only man to show any interest in me in God knows how long – not that I went out, no, I hid away in my own little world, much to the annoyance of Kathy. She would often say ‘you’re turning into your father’ and that idea scared me more than my low self-worth.
I flicked the shower off, faced the cold that was my London flat and got dressed. I was already late, but I still felt compelled to attempt the tube ride in for reasons I wasn’t quite sure.
‘The money?’ I wondered, ‘habit? Or just misplaced loyalty?’ I didn’t know and even though my heart was still planning to stay at home, my feet continued out the door much to my frustration.
I paused in the communal stairwell as the ‘hot poo’ swelled up inside my guts again.
‘What was up with me this morning,’ I wondered nervously, probably compounding the feeling.
A breeze whisked up the autumn leaves in the doorway and I noticed how the city seemed quieter than usual, with no sirens or people shouting. Even the birds had disappeared. It was as if the Universe knew something I didn’t.
Sighing, I decided to delay leaving by checking my post box at last. My fear of receiving bills meant the junk mail was poking out of the slit and it was becoming an embarrassment, but something caught my attention. Amongst all the warning letters from British Gas and boring council forms was a small red envelope covered in unusual franking marks and foreign stamps.
‘Who the hell is this from,’ I mused, turning it over a few times, convincing myself it was in the wrong box. I tried to think of who I knew from abroad, as my name Emily Lapping was clearly marked on the front, but I didn’t know anyone in my local area let alone anyone from where the stamp suggested, Thailand.
Realising I had now probably missed my train, and not wishing to face the wrath of my evil boss for being late, I bravely went back into my flat and stuck the kettle on.
‘Stuff work,’ I thought, placing the tiny envelope down on the table. ‘With this stomach I’m probably ill anyway.’
Staring out of the window over the familiar rooftops and grey sky, I watched as the city finally began to wake and a memory flickered in my mind as I planned my sick day excuse, which I didn’t want to acknowledge, but the foreign stamp was glaringly obvious.
Mum had died in Thailand.
I could feel the familiar lump reaching my throat as I sat down and with my stomach churning I shakily sipped my hot mug of instant Cuban coffee.
‘Had someone known my mother?’ I thought, ‘was this letter about my mother? But why now? Why write to me?’
I stared at the innocuous letter now propped up in front of me. I hadn’t thought about the past for a long time, not wishing to re-live that moment when my father had told me my mother wasn’t coming home any more. My life as I knew it had ended and not just for me but for my father too. No-one had discovered how or why she had died, just that she had never come back from a rafting trip up in the mountains of rural Thailand. My father had changed from being a sociable, highly respected professor of foreign culture at the University of Westminster to an unemployed recluse who now hid away in his study, and I had been sent away to boarding school. I was seven then and to me it had felt like I had lost two parents, not one.
The landline brought me out of my thoughts and I realised I hadn’t called in sick before nine.
“Shit,” I said out loud, my stomach somersaulting once again.
“Where are you?” my boss bellowed down at me before I could even fake a croaky voice. I listened as she rambled on about how vital it was I should be in, and how she had an important meeting she needed me in for, ‘but who was it really important for?’ I thought, touching the letter. I tuned out the angry voice and thought of my mother. ‘She wouldn’t have put up with this,’ I smiled, and before my boss had even finished talking I whispered, “I quit,” and hung up. Dazed, I went back to sipping my coffee. ‘What had I done?’ I thought, wondering what my boss’s expression had looked like with someone hanging up on her for a change. Anxiously giggling I could feel the hot poo easing, and putting down my mug I finally opened the letter.
Revenge in Thailand (An Emily Lapping Travel Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition available now!
US - Download Here
UK - Download Here
Also available in the EU.
Thank you to everyone for all your support!